4 Falcons players the Panthers must do better against in Week 8

(Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports) Todd Gurley
(Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports) Todd Gurley /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) Calvin Ridley /

44. WR. ATLANTA FALCONS. CALVINRIDLEY. 2. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. player

Calvin Ridley – WR

One almost runs out of superlatives when it comes to Calvin Ridley. The second-year wide receiver is enjoying the biggest of breakout seasons after showing exceptional promise as a rookie and the Carolina Panthers are all-too-aware of the task awaiting their secondary on Thursday Night Football.

Atlanta was missing the primary force that is Julio Jones in Week 5. The All-Pro is dealing with a hip injury that has resulted in him missing practice once again and there will be even more onus on Ridley to deliver the goods if his partner in crime fails to prove his fitness.

This is nothing new to Ridley and he has thrived with more targets thrown his way this season. The former Alabama standout torched the Panthers during the first game on his way to eight catches for 136 receiving yards and anything similar at Bank of America Stadium is going to represent a real problem.

Carolina’s cornerback unit is below strength after the shock decision to release Eli Apple on Tuesday. The free-agent signing played just one game on defense and was cut loose shortly after claiming he was unable to go in practice with another hamstring issue.

It remains to be seen whether Rasul Douglas will be activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list in time. But the Panthers could sure use their best cover corner in the face of such an exceptional passing attack.