Hardy caught his only target, a seven-yard game, during Sunday's 28-16 loss to Cleveland.
Despite taking part in a revitalized Falcons pass offense ranked fourth in the league, Hardy has been seldom used in Atlanta's scheme. Five of Hardy' seven catches this season came during the Falcons' recent three-game winning streak, but -- even then -- he failed to garner much production. Next up is a Dallas pass defense ranked in the top 10 of the league, giving up just 232 yards per game.
Hardy collected two receptions for 24 yards during Monday's 23-20 win against the Giants.
The crafty veteran now has five receptions on nine targets over Atlanta's pass two games, after collecting just one catch on one target through the first five weeks of the season. Minor injuries to Mohamed Sanu (groin) and Calvin Ridley (ankle) have facilitated Hardy's uptick in his offensive involvement of late. But so long as he keeps producing, Hardy has a chance to field between 15 and 25 snaps per game as a No. 4 or No. 5 option for the Falcons receiving corps. Following a Week 8 bye, Atlanta will take on Washington's secondary, who's allowing the 13th fewest passing yards per game.
Head coach Dan Quinn said that Hardy would see an increase in offensive involvement should either Mohamed Sanu (hip) or Calvin Ridley (ankle) be deemed inactive for Monday night's game against the Giants, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Hardy collected a career-high seven targets during the Falcons' Week 6 win over Tampa Bay, hauling in three of those passes for 33 receiving yards. Over the past three seasons, Hardy has two appearances in games when Sanu was inactive, and in those contests has compiled five catches for 43 yards and a touchdown (averaging 1.4 receptions and 13.9 yards per game for his career). Even if Hardy does play on a greater percentage of offensive snaps, Week 7 brings a less than favorable matchup opposing a Giants defense that has allowed the sixth-fewest wide receiver receptions in 2018 (67).
Hardy, who underwent minor shoulder surgery in January, has gradually worked his way back to full strength and is taking first-team reps on kickoffs alongside Marvin Hal in addition to seeing action with the first-team offense in team drills during training camp. He's probably the frontrunner in the mix to be the top backup behind Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley, but Hardy is unlikely to see enough playing time to be of fantasy consideration.
Hardy (shoulder) was recognized by head coach Dan Quinn on Wednesday as a player who is expected to be fully rehabilitated from injury in the near future. "I anticipate (him) almost being ready now, and so we're going to try and do the individual work," Quinn reported when speaking to the media after OTAs, "I really see very few limitations heading into training camp".
For the time being, Hardy continues to partake in individual drills as he works his way back from offseason shoulder surgery. Hardy's potential sleeper value as a receiver was diminished when Atlanta selected Calvin Ridley in the first round of the draft, but he is likely to be slotted in as the No. 4 receiver while being in contention to take over as the team's primary kick returner with Andre Roberts' departure to New York. The 5-foot-10 Hardy made the most of limited opportunity in 2017, collecting three touchdown receptions despite being on the field for only 33 percent of the Falcons' offensive snaps.
|12||11/22/18||@ NO||8:20 pm|
|14||12/9/18||@ GB||1:00 pm|
|16||12/23/18||@ CAR||1:00 pm|
|17||12/30/18||@ TB||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|