Falcons head coach Arthur Smith said Monday he expects Patterson to return this season and that they "expect him back sooner rather than later."
The 31-year-old Patterson had missed two days of practice last week and practiced on a limited basis Friday. He played Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, but on a limited basis with a season-low nine carries, and was also held off kick returns, where he is one of the best returners in NFL history.
Patterson had been off to a hot start in 2022, his second season as a full-time running back, rushing 58 times for 340 yards and three touchdowns, including two 100-yard games. He entered Week 4 as the NFL's No. 3 rusher.
"It was something that he had been managing," Smith said. "I'm not the doctor, but you're trying to weigh all that, and there's nothing that he did that put it at any further risk. You got to assess if it's something that you want to have week-to-week and how's it going to go.
"We have a great medical team, and CP, I hate to talk for him, but obviously he wouldn't have played if that had been the case. Just something that will help him more importantly in the long run and help the team."
Patterson would be eligible to return for Atlanta's game on Nov. 6 against the Los Angeles Chargers. He will miss games against Tampa Bay on Sunday and against San Francisco, Cincinnati and Carolina.
"He definitely has been setting the tone for us offensively with the way he's running the ball," Falcons left tackle Jake Matthews said. "So he's going to be missed, for sure, and hope he has a speedy recovery and gets back quick."
To replace Patterson on the roster, the Falcons signed Caleb Huntley after his 10-carry, 56-yard performance, including a touchdown, during a practice squad call-up against Cleveland on Sunday. Huntley has 11 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown this season.
With Patterson out, the Falcons will use a combination of Huntley, fifth-round pick Tyler Allgeier out of BYU and Avery Williams. Allgeier has 26 carries for 139 yards, and Williams converted from cornerback this past offseason and has four carries for 37 yards. They also have fullback Keith Smith as an option.
The Falcons could also bring back running back Damien Williams, who is eligible to return from injured reserve next week after suffering a rib injury on the second drive of the season against New Orleans in Week 1.
Atlanta has the NFL's fourth-ranked rushing offense with 672 yards and averaging 5.1 yards a carry.
Atlanta also has five players eligible to come off injured reserve this week, and Smith said they'll assess all five but did indicate cornerback Isaiah Oliver, who was the team's starting nickel corner before tearing his ACL against Washington on Oct. 3 last year, "will be back sooner than later."