The Atlanta Falcons were hit hard by the injury bug ahead of their Week 5 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-2.
The Falcons will be without second-year tight end Kyle Pitts with a hamstring injury. But their biggest loss will be veteran utility player Cordarrelle Patterson, who the Falcons ruled out with a knee injury.
As the team’s top rusher, the loss of Patterson will affect the Falcons’ ability to send the Buccaneers to their third straight loss.
But Patterson’s absence will give rookie running back Tyler Allgeier a chance to start as the Falcons’ point guard on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
“He runs hard,” quarterback Marcus Mariota said. “I’m not there to tell him what to do, he knows what he’s doing, and I think that allowed him to play fast and execute well. Credit goes to him for knowing the system and also running hard. “
Allgeier gave the Falcons a look at the player they drafted in the fifth round (No. 151) of the 2022 NFL Draft during the preseason, where he rushed for 68 yards on 17 carries to go along with a touchdown .
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He showed his ability to break tackles and create explosive plays, which gave coach Arthur Smith and general manager Terry Fontenot the confidence to draft Allgeier in April.
Allgeier had 40 carries for 10 or more yards after contact in his senior year at BYU. He finished his senior campaign with a career-high 1,601 yards on 276 carries and 23 touchdowns. The 2021 season marked the second straight year that Allgeier has eclipsed more than 1,000 rushing yards.
Allgeier and the Falcons face the Buccaneers on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium.
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