That’s a far cry from his 2020 start, wherein he hit the century mark in four of his first five games.
The former Alabama standout finished with 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns last season to gain Second-team All-Pro honors.
His campaign ended with eight games with at least 100 yards out of 15 played.
Calvin Ridley without Julio in 2020 (7 games):
🚀81.3 PFF Grade
🚀109.3 yards per game
🚀21 explosive receptions (15+ yards)
WR1 ready 😤 pic.twitter.com/SC2uiZij7Y
— PFF (@PFF) June 7, 2021
Ridley’s best performance came against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, wherein he compiled 10 receptions for 163 yards and a touchdown.
Fast forward to 2021, and his highest output is an 80-yard performance versus the Washington Football Team.
However, he had two drops in that game.
Still, he remains the Falcons’ top receiver with 255 yards and one touchdown through four weeks.
I have to say, Calvin Ridley has been the most disappointing player on the #Falcons in 2021.
1. Terrified of contact – misses several first downs because of it
2. Runs east and west too much – because he is scared of contact
3. Dropping passes
— Jesse (@jbhATL) October 5, 2021
Unfortunately, his production will be on hold for a week because he will not be joining the team in their clash against the New York Jets at the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium in London, England.
The Falcons cited “an undisclosed personal matter” regarding Ridley’s non-travel to Great Britain.
Head coach Arthur Smith admits that Ridley’s absence is a massive blow because they have high expectations from him after a stellar All-Pro season.
The NFL is back in London! 🇬🇧 @NFLUK
— NFL (@NFL) October 8, 2021
That said, quarterback Matt Ryan must find other targets to win over the Jets in the return of the NFL’s United Kingdom game.
Here are the other receivers that must raise their game in Ridley’s absence.
3. Olamide Zaccheaus
With Gage sidelined, the three-year pro from the University of Virginia becomes the Falcons’ top receiver.
This game against New York could be his shining moment because he only has 69 receiving yards and a touchdown to his credit.
— Danny Neckel (@DNeckel19) October 7, 2021
Last year, Olamide Zaccheaus played in nine games and tallied 274 yards.
He had 103 yards and a touchdown in their victory over the Denver Broncos
The Falcons hope that he can repeat that performance now that he will be in the limelight.
2. Cordarrelle Patterson
This running back from Tennessee is being a workhorse this season.
He is second behind Mike Davis in rushing yards with 119 and has the only Falcons touchdown on the ground.
— NFL (@NFL) October 3, 2021
Meanwhile, Cordarrelle Patterson is second behind Ridley in receiving yards with 235 and leads with four touchdown catches.
Three of those scores came against Washington in Week 4.
Ryan will look to him more in their upcoming game, and his speed creates mismatches against linebackers that usually cover running backs.
1. Kyle Pitts
The Falcons had high hopes on Kyle Pitts after making him the highest-drafted tight end in NFL history.
However, he is yet to live up to the hype after the first quarter of the 2021 season.
Falcons TE Kyle Pitts looking at the Jets coverages coming his way Sunday with Ridley and Gage out pic.twitter.com/SrnxnhcDqh
— Steve Wyche (@wyche89) October 7, 2021
His best game came against the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, wherein he had five receptions for 73 yards.
Unfortunately, he does not have a touchdown catch yet and has inconsistent games through four weeks.
The Falcons offense needs him to have a break-out game against the league’s 12th-best pass defense at 226.3 yards per game.NEXT: Falcons Can Get Right Back On Track In Week 4