Hooper hauled in all five of his targets for 59 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 31-24 win over the Panthers.
Hooper's performance on Sunday was his most substantial PPR-scoring output since Week 10 of last season (16.9 points). With 59 yards against Carolina, the former Stanford standout also eclipsed 50 receiving yards for the first time since putting up over 100 in Week 1 of 2017. Upcoming for Hooper and the Falcons is a Saints defense that has allowed 663 passing yards during the first two games of the season to Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tyrod Taylor.
Though there hadn't been any reports that Hooper picked up an injury in the Falcons' season-opening loss to the Eagles, the 23-year-old ended up being limited by the knee issue during Wednesday's session. Hooper's advancement to full participation a day later suggests the injury was only a mild concern. Expect Hooper to see ample playing time once again Week 2 against the Panthers after he logged 59 of a possible 70 offensive snaps in the opener.
Hooper was a limited participant at Wednesday's practice due to a knee injury, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Hooper's knee issue comes as a mild surprise given that there weren't any reports of an injury coming out of last week's loss to the Eagles. Should he recover from the setback in time to play Sunday against the Panthers, Hooper could struggle to see much work in the passing game. The Panthers put the clamps on Dallas' short-passing game in the season opener, limiting starting tight end Geoff Swaim to 18 receiving yards.
Hooper corralled three of his four targets for 24 yards in Atlanta's 18-12 loss to Philadelphia on Thursday.
Hooper is a sure-handed target but not an explosive player by any means, as he has now gone 16 consecutive regular-season contests without exceeding 50 receiving yards (averaging 26.4 yards per game during that span). The breakout performance is unlikely to come in Atlanta's Week 2 matchup against Carolina, facing a defense that allowed the fifth-fewest points to tight ends in PPR scoring last season.
Hooper was mentioned by head coach Dan Quinn at this week's NFL owners meetings as one player who the Falcons expect elevated performance from in 2018, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Hooper increased his catch total from 19 during his rookie campaign to 49 in his sophomore season, but Quinn still sees substantial room for growth in the young tight end's game. "I'm really looking forward to where Austin Hooper is going to go," Quinn said this week at the NFL owners meeting, "In the run game, he can get better... (but) he's a really committed football guy. I think there will be a big jump." It's likely that improvement as a blocker would help Hooper increase his snap count from last season's 76.6 percent, but more consistent production as a receiver would also significantly bolster his chances of being a part of the Falcons' long-term plans. Hooper enjoyed a promising first half of the season in 2017, averaging nine fantasy points per game in PPR scoring through Week 10 before seeing that figure tumble to 3.2 in the second half.
|5||10/7/18||@ PIT||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 8|
|9||11/4/18||@ WAS||1:00 pm|
|10||11/11/18||@ CLE||1:00 pm|
|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|