Russell Gage

Russell Gage

Wide Receiver #83
Team: Atlanta Falcons
Ht / Wt:6'0" / 179 lb.
Born:January 22, 1996
Drafted:2018 / Rd. 6 (194)
Draft Team:ATL

Russell Gage: Beneficiary of draft weekend

Gage remains well-positioned to serve as the Falcons' slot receiver after Atlanta went without drafting a single wideout during the 2020 NFL Draft, Mike Clay of reports.

Analysis: As Clay noted, during weeks in which both Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones were active last season, Gage saw his target share vault to 16 percent after Mohamed Sanu's Oct. 22 trade to New England. As the No. 4 option at receiver Weeks 1 through 7, Gage accounted for just four combined catches and 44 yards, but from Week 8 to the end of the regular season, he averaged a respectable five catches and 44.7 yards per game. His involvement transferred from obsolete to significant as result of Sanu's departure, and in the interim, nothing has changed at the position group that would stymie Gage's progression. He appears to be the No. 3 option at receiver for an offense that last year ranked behind only Tampa Bay and Dallas in passing yards per game (294.6).

April 26, 2020 12:24 PM EST

Russell Gage: Ties Jones for team high in targets

Gage caught seven of 13 targets for 68 yards during Sunday's 28-22 win against Tampa Bay.

Analysis: The second-year wideout from LSU turned it on over the latter half of 2019, racking up five-plus receptions in five of his final six outings to close out the year. Gage's role within Atlanta's offense increased substantially upon the trade of Mohamed Sanu to New England on Oct. 22, as he averaged 7.3 targets per game between Weeks 8 and 17 after managing just eight total targets across his first six appearances. With Calvin Ridley (abdomen) expected to be recovered well in time for OTAs, Gage is expected to enter 2020 as the Falcons' No. 3 option at wide receiver so long as a newly acquired player does not supersede him on the depth chart.

December 29, 2019 4:18 PM EST

Russell Gage: Solid Week 16 showing against Jags

Gage hauled in five of six targets for 49 yards and ran for seven yards on two carries during Sunday's 24-12 win against Jacksonville.

Analysis: The second-year man out of LSU has been a steady contributor in Atlanta's passing game over the past month, as he has amassed as least five receptions in four of five appearances since Week 12. Gage has been efficient with opportunities granted during that span, establishing an impressive 71.4 percent catch rate with 46.8 scrimmage yards per game. He'll continue to be a secondary option for Matt Ryan when the Falcons take on a Buccaneers defense Week 17 that ranks 32nd in the NFL in both receptions (222) and receiving yards (2,970) allowed to opposing WRs.

December 22, 2019 3:18 PM EST

Russell Gage: Tied for second in targets Week 15

Gage caught five of six targets for 27 receiving yards and ran for six yards on his lone rush attempt during Sunday's 29-22 win against the 49ers.

Analysis: The LSU product has now been held to 50 combined scrimmage yards over the past two weeks, but it's encouraging at least that he's been a highly-involved weapon in the depleted Falcons receiving corps. Gage has garnered six-plus targets over three of his past four appearances, heading into a Week 16 matchup against a Jacksonville defense that Sunday allowed just one opposing player -- Oakland's Darren Waller -- to exceed 45 receiving yards.

December 15, 2019 8:14 PM EST

Russell Gage: More work on tap

Gage is in line for increased usage with Calvin Ridley (abdomen) expected to miss the rest of the season, Will McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: Since Mohamed Sanu was dealt to the Patriots in late October, Gage has manned the slot for the Falcons, racking up 41 targets over the last six games. Gage's peripheral numbers (9.2 YPC and 6.3 YPT) are appropriate for a receiver that doesn't make an impact outside of short- and medium-range throws from Matt Ryan. Having said that, Gage is set to be an even bigger part of Atlanta's passing attack over the final three games of the campaign.

December 9, 2019 12:05 PM EST

Russell Gage: No designation for Sunday

Gage (ribs) doesn't have a designation for Sunday's game versus the Panthers, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Analysis: Gage has been a regular in the Falcons offense since Mohamed Sanu was dealt to the Patriots after Week 7. In five subsequent outings, Gage has earned between 48 and 74 percent of the snaps on offense in a given week, compiling 26 catches (on 37 targets) for 241 yards and one touchdown. His practice reps were capped this week by a rib injury, but fellow wideouts Julio Jones (shoulder) and Calvin Ridley (toe) had the same limitations. The trio will aim to take advantage of a Carolina defense that has conceded 178.1 receiving yards per game and nine total TDs to the position in 12 contests this season.

December 6, 2019 2:29 PM EST

Russell Gage: Reps capped Thursday

Gage (ribs) was a limited participant in Thursday's practice.

Analysis: Even with a lengthier turnaround for Sunday's game against the Panthers after the Falcons last played Thanksgiving Day, Gage is evidently still hurting to some degree. Now listed as a limited participant in back-to-back practices, Gage will likely need to graduate to full participation in Friday's session to avoid carrying a designation into the matchup with Carolina. Since taking over for the departed Mohamed Sanu as Atlanta's primary slot man in Week 8, Gage has averaged 7.4 targets per game.

December 5, 2019 1:33 PM EST

Russell Gage: Battling ribs injury

Gage (ribs) was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice, Vaughn McClure of reports.

Analysis: Gage appears to have gotten nicked up in last Thursday's loss to the Saints, during which he tallied five catches for 52 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. With Julio Jones (shoulder), Calvin Ridley (toe), Austin Hooper (knee), Luke Stocker (back) and Jaeden Graham (thigh) all also limited to begin the week, Gage could once again be facing a notable opportunity for targets if he's able to get fully healthy in time for Sunday's tilt against Carolina. Over the last two weeks the second-year pro has drawn 19 targets.

December 4, 2019 2:18 PM EST

Russell Gage: Logs first career receiving TD

Gage caught five of nine targets for 52 yards and a touchdown during Thursday's 26-18 loss to the Saints.

Analysis: The second-year receiver has become a staple in Atlanta's passing game over the past month, garnering 7.4 targets per game since Week 8, after commanding just eight total targets Weeks 1 through 7. The jettisoning of Mohamed Sanu to New England provided an opportunity for the LSU product to step up, and he's so far established a 70.3 percent catch rate with 48.2 receiving yards per game since first seeing his offensive snap share peak above 50 percent in Week 8. Targets will be more sparse should Julio Jones (shoulder) prove capable of returning from injury in Week 14, but if not, Gage will serve Atlanta's No. 2 wide receiver option against a Carolina defense that ranks 27th in receiving yards allowed to opposing WRs.

November 28, 2019 9:25 PM EST

Russell Gage: Big day against Bucs secondary

Gage caught eight of 10 targets for 76 yards during Sunday's 35-22 loss to Tampa Bay.

Analysis: The second-year wideout has been establishing himself as a deep-league consideration of late, accumulating 5.3 catches and 47.3 yards per game since Week 8 after managing fewer than one reception and 6.3 yards per game over his first seven appearances of the year. Gage's 76-yard day established a new career best for the former LSU Tiger, but it'd be surprising if he were able to produce a comparable or better output in his upcoming matchup, facing New Orleans' top-12 pass defense on a short week.

November 24, 2019 6:39 PM EST

Russell Gage: Moderately involved in Week 11 win

Gage caught two of four targets for 32 receiving yards during Sunday's 29-3 win against the Panthers.

Analysis: Between the trade of Mohamed Sanu to New England and Sunday's matchup against Carolina, Gage had seen his offensive snap count increase from no higher than 22 percent between Weeks 1 through 7, to percentages of 57 and 62 during Atlanta's Week 8 and 10 losses to the Seahawks and Saints. While he's averaged a much-improved 37.7 receiving yards per game over his past three outings, Gage remains in search of his first career touchdown heading into a matchup against a Buccaneers pass defense that ranks bottom five in the NFL with more than 2.4 touchdowns surrendered per game through the air.

November 17, 2019 7:14 PM EST

Russell Gage: Log first catch since opener

Gage hauled in one of two targets for 12 receiving yards during Sunday's 53-32 loss to the Texans.

Analysis: The second-year wideout was able to bounce back quickly from a concussion suffered in the season opener against Minnesota, suiting up in all four of Atlanta's games since but never getting more than one offensive touch or fielding even 25 percent of the offensive snaps. Neither Gage or Justin Hardy has emerged as the Falcons' No. 4 option at wide receiver, as Atlanta gets set for a Week 6 matchup against an Arizona secondary that has held up reasonably well in Patrick Peterson's (suspension) absence thus far in 2019, ranking among the NFL's best 20 teams in terms of receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns allowed to opposing wideouts.

October 6, 2019 9:18 PM EST

Russell Gage: No offensive impact against Eagles

Gage was targeted once, but did not record a reception during Sunday's 24-20 win against Philadelphia.

Analysis: Gage was active for a key Week 2 showdown against the Eagles, but only played 14 percent of the offensive snaps after suffering a concussion during the season opener against Minnesota. He'll continue to serve as Atlanta's No. 4 or 5 option at wideout in a Week 3 road trip to Indianapolis, as the Falcons take on a Colts defense that held Marcus Mariota to 154 passing yards in its last time out after getting lit up by Philip Rivers for 333 yards and three touchdowns the game prior.

September 17, 2019 12:18 AM EST

Russell Gage: Gearing up Sunday

Gage (concussion) will play in Sunday's game versus the Eagles.

Analysis: Gage went into concussion protocol after Week 1's contest versus the Eagles, but he made a quick recovery. His offensive contributions will remain limited behind the Falcons' stacked wideout corps.

September 15, 2019 3:55 PM EST

Russell Gage: Questionable for Sunday

Gage (concussion) is considered questionable for Sunday's Week 2 matchup with Philadelphia, Jason Butt of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Gage was unable to practice Wednesday but managed to get in a limited participation in Thursday's session. If the 23-year-old isn't able to suit up Sunday, Olamide Zaccheaus would be most likely to pick up any extra reps.

September 13, 2019 10:10 AM EST

Russell Gage: Limited in practice Thursday

Gage (concussion) was a limited participant in Thursday's practice, William McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: Gage will need to fully clear the league's concussion protocol before retaking the field. The second-year pro appears to be recovering well, though it remains to be seen whether he'll suit up versus the Eagles on Sunday. Justin Hardy will serve as the No. 4 receiver in Atlanta if Gage is forced to miss any time.

September 12, 2019 1:46 PM EST

Russell Gage: No practice Wednesday

Gage (concussion) did not practice Wednesday, Vaughn McClure of reports.

Analysis: Gage suffered a head injury during Sunday's loss against the Vikings and will need to clear the league's concussion protocol before retaking the field. If Gage is forced to miss any time Justin Hardy will slot in as the No. 4 wideout in Atlanta.

September 11, 2019 2:28 PM EST

Russell Gage: Out for rest of game

Gage (concussion) won't return to Sunday's game versus the Panthers, William McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: Gage took a hard hit to the head in the first half, and he didn't return after halftime. His day is done, and this leaves the Falcons' with four healthy receivers, and Justin Hardy will bump up the No. 4 on the depth chart. Gage will need to clear the league's concussion protocol before he can play again.

September 8, 2019 12:16 PM EST

Russell Gage: Leaves Sunday's game

Gage left Sunday's game against the Vikings and is being evaluated for a possible concussion, William McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: Gage was on the wrong end of a hard hit to the head in the second quarter of the game. Expect the team to have more official news as the 2018 sixth-round pick goes through tests. Justin Hardy will move up the depth chart as the fourth receiver as long as Gage is sidelined.

September 8, 2019 11:47 AM EST

Russell Gage: Could play offensive role Sunday

Head coach Dan Quinn said that Gage will get "more extended work" this week, Vaughn McClure of reports.

Analysis: In a scenario in which Julio Jones sits out Week 1 because his contract situation remains unresolved, Gage has an opportunity to see an uptick in usage. Atlanta is optimistic that it can agree to a deal with its six-time Pro Bowl receiver by the time Sunday rolls around, but if not, Gage would be a top candidate to get snaps at the "X" receiver position, as McClure mentioned in his report that the 23-year-old wideout lined up in that spot frequently throughout the preseason. It's also notable that Jones's response when asked if he would play against Minnesota without a new contract was "I don't know." Should Gage see increased involvement in Week 1, it would come against a Vikings defense that is returning two former All Pros in the secondary with Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes, and coming off a No. 3 finish in pass defense.

September 5, 2019 6:12 PM EST

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