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Falcons WR Calvin Ridley out with a personal matter in Week 8

Falcons will be without their No. 1 wide receiver vs. Panthers

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley (18) tries to catch a pass against the Washington Football Team during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Falcons number one wide receiver Calvin Ridley is out for Week 8 due to a personal matter. Ridley also missed their game in London two weeks ago due to a personal matter. His absence should give Russell Gage and Kyle Pitts a big workload against the Panthers.

His 2021 hasn’t lived up to expectations on the field, as he appeared set for a big year after Julio Jones was traded away. So far, he’s caught 31-of-51 targets for 281 yards and two touchdowns in five games. His 5.4 yards per target is a huge fall from his average of nine-yards per target over his first three seasons.

The Falcons No. 1 receiver of late has been rookie tight end Kyler Pitts, so he will continue to fill that role while Russell Gage, who returned last week from injury, will become the top wide receiver on the team for this matchup.