Wide receiver Calvin Ridley became a star for the Atlanta Falcons early in his career. However, he played through a broken foot in 2021 and his mental health made him retire five games into the season. Not long after he called it quits, he was suspended for betting on NFL games. While serving his suspension last year, the Jacksonville Jaguars traded for Ridley last year. He was reinstated back in March and is now set to face his old team in Week 4.
Although the Alabama product stood out in his debut for Jacksonville in Week 1, he's been quiet the last two games. That said, he and other Jaguars players will have an opportunity to bounce back in Week 4. Even though the Jags are coming off consecutive losses, they're a 3-point favorite against the 2-1 Falcons.
This makes sense when you take into account that the Jaguars have lots of talents on offense. They simply haven't reached their potential yet. With this in mind, here are five bold predictions for the first game of the NFL's 2023 International Series.
5. WR Calvin Ridley will go off vs. the Falcons, tally 150+ yards, 2 TDs
Despite the fact that Ridley spent the 2022 season away from football, he showed no rust in training camp. A promising performance in the opener reinforced the notion he was still the same player he was in Atlanta. But then, Weeks 2 and 3 came and he wasn't much of a factor, hauling in a paltry five receptions with 72 yards. Add a couple of key drops and two false start penalties and doubts about Ridley's impact started to surface.
Even the best players are bound to have bad outings every now and then. Ridley isn't exempt. It's possible that he needs more time to get acclimated after not playing in a regular-season game in more than a year. Maybe he's trying too hard but regardless of the reason, he should hit his stride sooner rather than later. What better time than against his old team?
Ridley's previously said he's driven to prove his doubters wrong. It's fair to assume that he's also looking forward to showing his former team made a mistake when they moved on from him. For this reason, expect him to register over 150 yards and one touchdown in Week 4.