Falcons activate Cordarrelle Patterson in time to face Chargers on Sunday

Left guard Elijah Wilkinson (knee injury) place on injured reserve

FLOWERY BRANCH -- Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson, who missed the past four games while on injured reserve after undergoing left knee surgery, was activated to the 53-man roster Saturday.

The team activated his 21-day return-to-play schedule Wednesday.

The Falcons (4-4) are set to host the Chargers (4-3) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

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The Falcons released outside linebacker Quinton Bell to make room for Patterson.

Left guard Elijah Wilkinson, who has a knee injury, was placed on injured reserve, and defensive lineman Jalen Dalton was signed to the 53-man roster.

Safety Jovante Moffatt and offensive guard/center Ryan Neuzil were promoted from the practice squad.

Patterson is the Falcons’ leading rusher with 340 yards on 58 carries, and he has three rushing touchdowns. He would provide a spark if he faces the Chargers.

Patterson said he felt 90% healthy Wednesday.

“At this point in time, nobody is 100%; we’re in what, Week 9?” Patterson said. “Nobody is going to feel 100%. Feeling at 90%, I feel pretty good.”

With Patterson out, Caleb Huntley was promoted to the 53-man roster. Huntley, Tyler Allgeier and Avery Williams filled in at running back.

“They did a heck of a job,” Patterson said. “This week if I can go, they are still going to keep doing what they (are) supposed to do until I’m back. When I’m back, they are going to shine. I’m not coming to step on (anybody’s) toes. This is our team. The team comes first. Whenever Coach needs me out there, I will be ready.”

Patterson said the four weeks were mentally taxing to deal with.

“Of course, it was tough, but they held their own,” Patterson said. “Running backs in that (meeting) room, they take good pride in when their opportunity comes. They showed over those four weeks. They did what they (were) supposed to do.”

The Falcons were down a safety after trading Dean Marlowe to the Bills on Tuesday for a conditional seventh-round pick.

Moffatt, 25, is 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds. He played at Middle Tennessee. He played one game with the Falcons this season. He played 14 games with the Browns in 2020 and 2021.

“I’ve just been taking it step by step,” Moffatt said. “Learning the defense the best I can. Just (trying to) be ready for whenever they call my name.”

Middle Tennesee has produced defensive backs Kevin Byard of Tennessee and Charvarius Ward of San Francisco.

“That’s pretty much who I followed after,” Moffatt said of Byard. “He taught me the game. Still to this day, he’s my mentor. Kevin has been a big inspiration in my life and has been very helpful me to get where I am.”

Byard played for Falcon defensive coordinator Dean Pees.

“He worked with Dean Pees in Tennessee, so I talked to him about that,” Moffatt said. “Overall, he’s always been there if I need him, call or text. I work out with him in the summer. That’s my right hand.”

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Atlanta Falcons 2022 schedule

Sept. 11: Saints 27, Falcons 26

Sept. 18: Rams 31, Falcons 27

Sept. 25 Falcons 27, Seahawks 23

Oct. 2 Falcons 23, Browns 20

Oct. 9 Buccaneers 21, Falcons 15

Oct. 16 Falcons 28, 49ers 14

Oct. 23 Bengals 35, Falcons 17

Oct. 30 Falcons 37, Panthers 34 OT

Nov. 6 vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 1 p.m.

Nov. 10 at Carolina, 8:15 p.m.

Nov. 20 vs. Chicago, 1 p.m.

Nov. 27 at Washington, 1 p.m.

Dec. 4 vs. Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.

BYE WEEK

Dec. 18 at New Orleans, TBD

Dec. 24 at Baltimore, 1 p.m.

Jan. 1 vs. Arizona, 1 p.m.

Jan. 8 vs. Tampa Bay, TBD