Cornerback Darqueze Dennard has been on injured reserve since he sustained a hamstring injury in the Falcons' Week 3 loss to the Chicago Bears, but he could be making a return to the lineup fairly soon.
Coming off of a 25-17 Thursday night victory against the Carolina Panthers, interim head coach Raheem Morris sounded confident about the veteran corner's progress.
"I know Dennard is getting close just from last week studying everything I hear from [team doctor] Marty [Lauzon] and the whole crew, so we'll see where he is when we come back off this mini bye," Morris said.
Atlanta has won two games since Morris took over as interim head coach, and it will undoubtedly benefit from having Dennard return. Against Chicago, Dennard had quite possibly the best single-game performance by any Falcons cornerback in 2020.
He recorded six tackles, two pass defenses and one interception, which came on a contested catch against Allen Robinson in the end zone. Dennard was Pro Football Focus's highest-graded Falcons defender against the Bears, earning a near-elite grade of 82.7.
An offseason acquisition for Atlanta, coaches touted Dennard's ability to play both inside and outside corner positions. The Falcons are coming off of a fairly strong defensive performance against the Panthers, who gained only 157 passing yards on Thursday night. Cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson secured the game-winning interception, and he's been part of a mix that also includes A.J. Terrell, Isaiah Oliver and Kendall Sheffield.
It's now looking like Dennard could be included in that mix sooner rather than later.