Falcons rule out CB Terrell, S Hawkins vs Panthers

Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell (24) fumbles in the end zone as San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, in Atlanta. Atlanta Falcons safety Jaylinn Hawkins recovered the fumble for a touchdown. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) The first-place Atlanta Falcons will be missing most of their starting secondary when they host the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

The Falcons (3-4) ruled out safety Jaylinn Hawkins (concussion) and cornerback A.J. Terrell (hamstring) after they missed the entire week of practice.

Both went down in last weekend's 35-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Falcons also are missing cornerback Casey Hayward, who sustained a shoulder injury the previous week against the 49ers. He was placed on IR and will miss at least three more games.

Compounding Atlanta's issues in the secondary, backup cornerback Dee Alford is questionable for Sunday because of a hamstring issue that has limited him in practice.

In the NFC South, where no team has a winning record, the Falcons moved into first place when Tampa Bay (3-5) lost to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night.

One game behind the Falcons are Carolina and the New Orleans Saints, both at 2-5.

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