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Watch out, Tom Brady: Falcons’ Cordarrelle Patterson listed as backup safety for Buccaneers matchup



Cordarrelle Patterson has tortured defenses in 2021. Now, he might be torturing opposing offenses. 

Patterson has opened eyes (and made fantasy owners very happy) in 2021. The wide receiver and kick return extraordinaire has been used in a bevvy of roles for the Falcons in Arthur Smith’s offense; with 411 rushing yards, 500 receiving yards and 311 return yards, Patterson could eclipse the 2,000-yard all-purpose mark this season.

So what phase of the game is left for Patterson to conquer? Well, Smith could turn to Patterson on the defensive side of the ball this weekend. No, really.

Patterson is listed as a third-string safety on the Falcons’ official depth chart for Week 13 vs. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. The Falcons’ head coach recently acquiesced to Patterson’s desires to play on the defensive side of the ball, and that’s seemingly something that’s going to continue this weekend.

MORE: NFL picks, predictions Week 13 — Will Falcons pull off upset?

“He got his defensive snap,” Smith said about Patterson after Atlanta’s Week 12 win over the Jaguars. “I may put him on the depth chart next week at free safety.” 

Smith, clearly, made good on his words.

The Falcons’ Swiss Army knife did, in fact, get his snap this past weekend vs. the Jaguars. He’s credited with one snap played at free safety, with no coverage targets in the win. 

His 2021 snap breakdowns are truly a sight to behold, as well (courtesy of Pro Football Focus):

  • Running back: 175 snaps;
  • Receiver (Inline/Slot/Wide): 122 snaps;
  • Returner: 51 snaps;
  • Punt coverage: 11 snaps;
  • Free safety: 1 snap.

It’s fairly unlikely that Patterson will spark the rebirth of pure two-way players in the NFL, something that hasn’t been seen in earnest in a long time. The Ravens’ Patrick Ricard is one of the most recent examples of a two-way player, playing fullback and defensive line. He hasn’t played on the defensive side of the ball since 2018, though.

Better watch out, Tom Brady. Cordarrelle’s comin’.



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