FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Falcons star cornerback A.J. Terrell has been ruled out of his team's upcoming NFC South clash with the Carolina Panthers due to a hamstring injury, head coach Arthur Smith announced on Friday afternoon.
He joins safety Jaylinn Hawkins (concussion) among the unavailable, as Smith said the every-down starter wouldn't play earlier in the week.
A depleted secondary retains hope that cornerback Dee Alford can return after a game out with a hamstring injury. He was listed as questionable on the team's official injury report after being a limited practice participant all week.
Playing without Terrell and Hawkins is a significant blow, especially with veteran cornerback Casey Hayward already on injured reserve for at least a longer term with a shoulder injury. The Falcons will count on reserves at several spots, including veteran Dean Marlowe at safety. He was optimistic about younger players' ability to step in or play significant snaps. That includes new starter Darren Hall, who takes over for Hayward. Alford or Cornell Armstrong, a practice-squad elevation last week, are options in Terrell's spot. Isaiah Oliver will likely stay in the slot.
Also, running back Caleb Huntley did not receive an injury designation after missing Thursday's practice with an illness. He'll be ready to play the Panthers as a primary rushing option alongside Tyler Allgeier.
Take a look as the team puts in the work in Flowery Branch to prepare for this week's game against the Carolina Panthers.