Falcons Send Cornerback to Injured Reserve

The Atlanta Falcons stunned the NFL by defeating the San Francisco 49ers 28-14 in Week 6, but it wasn't all good news. The team announced Tuesday afternoon that it had placed veteran cornerback Casey Hayward on Injured Reserve due to a shoulder injury suffered in the win. Hayward will miss at least the next four weeks. He had been a crucial cog in the Falcons' secondary, playing on 87% of the team's snaps across his six starts. He logged an interception and 17 tackles while allowing an 80.7 passer rating on throws in his direction.

In his absence, the Falcons will likely increase playing time for Dee Alford and Isaiah Oliver. Alford is a rookie who has impressed on limited snaps, allowing a 60.6 passer rating on throws in his direction. Oliver is a former second-round pick of the Falcons who was recently activated from injured reserve.
Heyward entered the league as the 62nd overall pick of the Green Bay Packers in the 2012 NFL Draft. Despite nabbing six interceptions as a rookie, the cornerback started sporadically across his first four seasons before joining the San Diego Chargers in 2016. He promptly rewarded his new team with a pair of consecutive Pro Bowls, 11 interceptions, and 42 pass breakups in two seasons.

After five years with the Chargers, Hayward played for the Las Vegas Raiders in 2021 and signed with the Falcons in 2022. He has totalled 25 interceptions and 112 pass breakups in 152 appearances over his 11-year career.
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