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The Falcons place Calvin Ridley on the non-football injury list

No. 1 receiver has been away from team dealing with a personal matter 

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley #18 during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday, September 12, 2021. (Photo by AJ Reynolds/Atlanta Falcons)
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley #18 during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday, September 12, 2021. (Photo by AJ Reynolds/Atlanta Falcons)

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Falcons announced on Friday afternoon that they have placed Calvin Ridley on the reserve-NFI list (non-football injury). This is a roster designation used for players who are unable to practice as a result of conditions unrelated to football. Per league rules, a player placed on the NFI list has to miss - at a minimum - three weeks. The Falcons roster currently sits at 52.

Ridley missed the Falcons-Jets game in London with a personal matter. Ridley returned to practice after the Falcons bye week to play with Atlanta in Miami. He had a touchdown catch in that game. This past Sunday - prior to the start of Atlanta's home contest against Carolina - the Falcons announced Ridley would be inactive against the Panthers as he is dealing with a personal matter.

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Ridley released a statement on his social media on Sunday afternoon, stating he would be stepping away from football to focus on his mental health.

Tajae Sharpe steps into Ridley's spot in the lineiup, and the Falcons will rely on offensive weapons like Kyle Pitts, Russell Gage and Cordarrelle Patterson to lead the charge in the pass game.

"I'm ready to step up and play a role in what Calvin was able to do if need be; like I said, all of us are ready," Gage said. "It's gonna take more than just me to step up and play and help contribute in that role."

Ridley has 31 receptions on 52 targets so far in 2021, making five starts. He has 281 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

Tight end Hayden Hurst and quarterback Matt Ryan have said on a couple occasions that the Falcons support Ridley. As did Arthur Smith on Sunday and Monday when asked about Ridley's absence.

"Obviously, we're worried about Calvin," Hurst said. "We're here for him. We love him. He's got some stuff that he needs to work out. But he knows that we're here for him."

In other news, kicker Elliott Fry was signed to the practice squad. Receiver Juwan Green was released off the practice squad in a corresponding move.

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