3 Most Important Falcons Players to Watch in 2019 Hall of Fame Game

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Football finally returns to our televisions on Thursday night. The Atlanta Falcons will take on the Denver Broncos in Canton, OH for the annual Hall of Fame Game. It being the first preseason game of the year, the starters likely won't get a lot of action.

However, the Falcons were a surprising disappointment in 2018, largely due to injuries suffered early in the season. The Falcons are talented, but they're going to need contributions from a few key players if they hope to contend in 2019. With that in mind, here are three important Falcons to keep an eye on in the Hall of Fame Game.

3. Chris Lindstrom, OL

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The Falcons drafted Chris Lindstrom No. 14 overall to help bolster their offensive line. In order for the Dirty Birds to return to form, their offensive line will have to keep quarterback Matt Ryan off of the ground. Last season, Ryan was sacked 42 times (eighth-worst in the NFL), so protecting him needs to be a priority. Lindstrom should get playing time right away, and if he hits the ground running, he could help take this offense to the next level.

2. Calvin Ridley, WR

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While the Falcons had a disappointing 2018 after losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion in two consecutive seasons, one bright spot was rookie wide receiver Calvin Ridley. He was as good as advertised coming out of Alabama, catching 64 passes for 821 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Falcons will look for him to improve upon that in 2019, and if he makes the leap, Ridley and Julio Jones could be one of the most lethal combinations in the NFL.

1. Devonta Freeman, RB

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Devonta Freeman has underwhelmed over the past two seasons. He rushed for 865 yards in 2017, and he only totaled 14 carries in 2018 due to injury. He likely won't get many carries tonight, but seeing Freeman look like his old self would do wonders for the confidence of Falcons' fans.

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