Report: Falcons' Cordarrelle Patterson to Return from Knee Injury vs. Chargers

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVNovember 5, 2022

Atlanta Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson (84) runs after a catch against the Cleveland Browns during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)
AP Photo/John Amis

The Atlanta Falcons are activating Cordarrelle Patterson ahead of Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Chargers, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

The team placed Patterson on injured reserve on Oct. 3 because of a knee injury. He has missed the last four games as a result, which is the minimum required for a player on IR.

The 31-year-old returned to practice this week and told reporters Wednesday he was back to about 90 percent healthy.

Patterson hit the ground running in 2022, going for 120 yards and one touchdown in a Week 1 defeat to the New Orleans Saints. His 141 rushing yards and one touchdown helped Atlanta earn a win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3. He scored another touchdown and had 38 yards on nine carries in a Week 4 win over the Cleveland Browns.

Without Patterson, the Falcons have leaned on Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley. Together, they've done well to maintain a steady running game.

Allgeier has carried the ball 84 times for 324 yards and one touchdown this season, while Huntley has 265 yards and one score on 57 carries. Atlanta's 158.1 rushing yards per game are the fifth-most in the NFL.

Many expected the Falcons to tread water in 2022 until they turn the offense over to Desmond Ridder or find a better long-term solution at quarterback than Marcus Mariota. Instead, they lead the NFC South with a 4-4 record.

Atlanta is in a good position to stay there in Week 9. With a healthy Patterson, the offense should be able to exploit a Chargers defense that is allowing a league-worst 5.7 yards per carry and ranks 27th against the run.