Falcons RB Cordarrelle Patterson (ankle) game-time decision vs. Patriots on 'TNF'

The Falcons lost more than a game Sunday when key contributor Cordarrelle Patterson exited early with an ankle injury.

They might get him back in time to attempt to avoid another drubbing. Patterson will be a game-time decision for Atlanta's Thursday night meeting with the red-hot New England Patriots, according to Falcons coach Arthur Smith. He's officially listed as questionable.

Patterson left Atlanta's eventual 43-3 loss to Dallas in the first quarter due to the injury, recording just four rushes for 25 yards and one catch for 14 yards before his departure. Atlanta's offense suffered without him and was unable to counter what was ultimately an offensive avalanche brought on by the Cowboys.

Patterson has been among the greatest surprises in the NFL this season, not because the general football populace didn't know he was an explosive athlete, but because he'd never quite been utilized as much as Smith is in 2021. With his 776 scrimmage yards and seven total touchdowns, Patterson has become an essential part of an offense that is without Calvin Ridley and is progressing through its first season without Julio Jones since the beginning of the last decade. Without him, the Falcons didn't stand much of a chance.

They'll hope he can suit up to face the Patriots, who have won four straight and are traveling south following a 45-7 shellacking of the Cleveland Browns.

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