FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- After suffering an ankle injury late in the game against Dallas a few weeks ago, the Falcons are inching closer to getting Hayden Hurst back on the playing field. Hurst has missed the last three games while on injured reserve.
Arthur Smith confirmed on Monday that the tight end is back in the building, and is expected to start practicing this week. Once Hurst returns to practice he will enter into a 21-day period in which he can be activated from IR to the active roster.
This would be good news for the Falcons as they would get back another option in the pass game for Matt Ryan, perhaps it also takes a little pressure off Kyle Pitts, as well.
As for other health updates, Smith said there is still no timeline for Calvin Ridley's return. Ridley was placed on the non-football injury list a month ago.
"As soon as we get an update on Ridley, we will let you know," Smith said on Monday. "But there's no update there."
The Falcons will also continue to monitor the injuries of two rookies: Ade Ogundeji and Richie Grant. Both suffered ankle injuries on Sunday against Tampa Bay. The first-year players have been heavily involved in the defensive rotation throughout the last two games. Smith said the Falcons "feel all right" about Ogundeji and Grant's status heading into a new week, but did add they won't know much until they both get back out to practice.
This will be an important development to keep an eye on as the week moves forward with the Falcons prepping to face Carolina this coming Sunday.
"We'll get (Grant and Ogundeji) some work," Smith concluded, "and see where they are at."