The Falcons learned on Sunday morning that they would not have wide receiver Calvin Ridley in the lineup for their game against the Panthers and a statement Ridley released later in the day suggested it will be a while before he’ll return to action.
Ridley said that he needs to “step away from football” in order to focus on his mental health and there’s no timetable for his return. After Sunday’s 19-13 loss, quarterback Matt Ryan was asked about how the team will deal with Ridley’s absence.
“He’s a great player, and you try to utilize other guys when he’s not up,” Ryan said, via Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com. “We still have enough players. We trust the guys that are up on game day to go make plays, and unfortunately, we just fell a little bit short.”
It wasn’t clear if Ryan was aware of Ridley’s statement, which was released during the second half of the game, when he discussed playing without the wideout on Sunday.
They’ll need to find a much better way to adapt than they did on Sunday. Ryan threw a pair of interceptions, tight end Kyle Pitts had two catches for 13 yards as he drew more attention from the defense and the Falcons managed just 213 yards overall in the defeat.