Early Bird Report: Hayden Hurst appreciates Dak Prescott speaking up about mental health

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Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst is an advocate for discussing and understanding mental health struggles. As someone who has battled his own thoughts of suicide, Hurst appreciated the comments recently made by Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. In an episode of the television program "In Depth with Graham Bensinger," Prescott explained that he sought help over the offseason after experiencing feelings of anxiety and depression.

Hurst, himself, attempted suicide in 2016 while deep in a downward spiral of depression. Through the help of mental health experts, the Falcons tight end pulled himself out of the tailspin and is in the process of building a successful career in the NFL. On Sunday against the Cowboys, Hurst caught his first touchdown pass as a member of the Atlanta Falcons.

Following the game, Hurst made a point to seek out Prescott and thank him for discussing a subject that has had a great impact on Hurst's life.

Hurst spoke with ESPN's Vaughn McClure about his comments with Prescott after the game and his appreciation for someone with his stature raising awareness for the issue.

"I thought it was awesome," Hurst told ESPN. "I'm sure Dak Prescott doesn't really know who I am. But I know the courage that takes, because a lot of people don't like talking about mental health. They're afraid to talk about it. They're embarrassed. If guys like Dak Prescott can come out and talk about it, I think he's going to save a lot of lives. I think that's cool. I admire him. And I'll be a Dak Prescott fan forever. I think he's an awesome guy."

NFL rookie studs and duds from Week 2

Although it wasn't a great performance for the defense in Atlanta's Week 2 loss in Dallas, rookie cornerback A.J. Terrell had a good showing. He made several well-timed tackles and was in good position to knock a couple of passes away against some talented Cowboys receivers. In his review of the most recent NFL action, Pro Football Focus's Sam Monson listed Terrell among his "stud" rookies of the week.

Few players struggled as badly as A.J. Terrell in their Week 1 debuts. He, along with the rest of the Falcons, was lit up by Russell Wilson and the Seahawks' passing attack. While the Falcons' defense still couldn't slow down the opposition much in Week 2, Terrell at least had a significant bounce-back game on an individual level. He was thrown at three times, with Dak Prescott and the Cowboys instead attacking the combination of Darqueze Dennard and Isaiah Oliver a combined 21 times. Of those three targets, Terrell allowed just one catch for seven yards, notching a pair of defensive stops.

Terrell was also sent on a corner blitz once and registered a knockdown of Prescott on the play. It was a bumpy start for the first-round rookie on opening weekend, but Week 2 was far more encouraging.

Christian McCaffrey expected to miss 4-6 weeks

Arguably the league's best running back in the league, Christian McCaffrey could not avoid the injury bug that swept across the NFL in Week 2. The Panthers star running back sustained a high-ankle sprain, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, an injury that could cost him four to six weeks of playing time. That's an important and significant timetable for the Falcons.

Atlanta plays its first game against Carolina in Week 5 – three weeks from this past Sunday – and the Falcons finish their season series with the Panthers in Week 8 – six weeks from last Sunday. It seems very likely McCaffrey misses the first matchup between the two teams, but it's possible he's out for both, which would be a huge swing for the Falcons.

If McCaffrey has anything to say about it, however, he won't be out as long as the doctors say. In speaking with the media after his injury, he explained his intentions for a quick recovery.

Get an inside look at the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks with top photos from inside AT&T Stadium in Week 2.

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