The Falcons re-signed Hardy on Thursday, Will McFadden of the team's official site reports. A four-year veteran, Hardy has played a bit role at receiver for the Falcons, totaling 76 catches (on 118 targets) for 751 yards and nine touchdowns in 41 games. He does hold some sway as a returner, but the signing of Kenjon Barner indicates Hardy will have competition for those spots on the depth chart in 2019.
Hardy produced 14 receptions for 133 yards and two touchdowns over 16 games in 2018. With first-round rookie Calvin Ridley in the fold, Hardy took on a smaller role than he's had in recent seasons with Atlanta. The 27-year-old was still a reliable No. 4 receiver for the Falcons, though, and it wouldn't be a surprise if he re-signs before or after he becomes an unrestricted free agent in March.
Hardy caught all three of his targets Sunday, accumulating 29 receiving yards and one touchdown during a 40-14 victory against the Cardinals. Through Week 13, Hardy had eight receptions for 74 yards and no touchdowns. The fourth-year man has six catches for 59 yards and two touchdowns over the past two games against Green Bay and Arizona. Hardy hasn't been playing a greater number of snaps necessarily (in fact, last week he only fielded 14 offensive snaps in a breakout performance), but 35 percent of his targets this season have come over the last two weeks. It will be intriguing to see Hardy's involvement in Week 16, when the Falcons travel to take on a Panthers defense that's allowed 2.5 passing touchdowns and 269.5 yards per game through the air over it's past six outings.
Hardy caught three of four targets, compiling 30 receiving yards and one touchdown during Sunday's 34-20 loss to Green Bay. After accounting for seven combined receiving scores over the past two seasons, it came as a surprise that Hardy had yet to find the end zone entering Week 14, having come into Sunday's road test at Lambeau Field without logging a single red-zone target on the year. Matt Ryan looked for Hardy three times when the Falcons were inside the Green Bay 20-yard line, once connecting for a 19-yard junk time score to bolster Hardy's stat line for the day. With Atlanta all but mathematically eliminated from the NFC playoff mix, the coaching staff may give Hardy some more run over the final three weeks of the regular season to gauge whether he merits consideration as a member of the 53-man roster moving forward. Week 15 provides a matchup against a sturdy Cardinals secondary that's helped contain opposing wideouts to 1,889 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns this year, among the NFL's 10 best units in each of those categories.
Hardy caught one of two targets for six yards during Atlanta's 31-17 loss to New Orleans on Thanksgiving. The veteran receiver has fallen off over the past month. He's been targeted just thrice over his last four games, totaling 13 yards. Hardy has been targeted more than twice in a game just once all year and hasn't really been a contributor in a prolific Falcons passing game. Sunday brings the Ravens' top-five pass defense.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|7||10/20||Los Angeles Rams||19||22.05|
|10||11/10||@New Orleans Saints||31||26.67|
|12||11/24||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||28||25.00|
|13||11/29||New Orleans Saints||31||26.67|
|15||12/15||@San Francisco 49ers||30||26.13|
|17||12/29||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||28||25.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||28||18||186||3||13||10.33||36|