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Falcons Place AJ Terrell on COVID-19 List; 1st NFL Player to Miss Game for COVID

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistSeptember 26, 2020

Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell (24) defends during an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. Dallas won 40-39. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Brandon Wade/Associated Press

The Atlanta Falcons announced Saturday that they have placed cornerback A.J. Terrell on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Terrell will not play against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, making him the first player who will miss a game after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list during the season, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The 22-year-old Terrell is a rookie first-round pick out of Clemson who started each of Atlanta's first two games of the season.

Terrell has yet to record an interception or pass defended in his young NFL career, but he does have 11 tackles to his credit.

With Terrell out for Sunday's game, it is likely that Darqueze Dennard will slide into a starting role across from 2018 second-round pick Isaiah Oliver. Kendall Sheffield and Blidi Wreh-Wilson could also play bigger roles.

Dennard was a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. He spent the first six years of his career in Cincinnati before signing with Atlanta during the offseason.

While Dennard has recorded just three interceptions during his career, he has appeared in 79 games and made 25 starts, adding some much-needed experience to the Atlanta secondary.

Atlanta has allowed 372 passing yards per game, which is 31st in the NFL, and are surrendering the most points per game in the league (39).

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On Sunday, Atlanta has to deal with Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who seems revitalized after struggling last season. Bears No. 1 receiver Allen Robinson may be in for a get-right game after recording just eight receptions for 107 yards and no touchdowns over the first two weeks of the season.

With an already-poor Falcons secondary compromised even more by the loss of Terrell, it could be a huge offensive day for the Bears.

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