By Matthew Asher
Atlanta did defeat Dallas Week 9 to remain undefeated, yet it wasn’t an easy win. Due to the physical nature of the game, several key Falcons appeared to have been banged up after that game. Falcons coach Mike Smith was able to update the health of a few players.
Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon wasn’t able to participate in last week’s victory over the Cowboys due to an ankle injury. However, Coach Smith believes there is a chance Spoon may be ready for the Saints game. “He progressed well through the first week,” Smitty said. “We will have to wait and see. We will know where he’s at Wednesday or Thursday.”
Defensive tackle Peria Jerry injured his knee in the game against Dallas. Fortunately Jerry did not suffer any structural damage to his knee meaning that Smitty believes Jerry will be ready to play this Sunday. “We are anticipating he should be out with us by the end of the week,” Smith said. “It’s not anything like [Jerry’s] knee injury of two years ago. We are hoping to get him a few days rest and let him get a lot of rest and he will be back out with us.”
The knee incident Smith was speaking of was a season-ending knee injury Jerry suffered in September 2009. Smitty describes this injury as “more of a swelling situation and that’s what we have to do is get the swelling down. There’s no ligament or cartilage issues.”
One of the big downsides of Jerry’s injury is his backup still isn’t in midseason form. After just being medically cleared, Corey Peterson had to play many more reps against Dallas than he originally planned as he filled in for Jerry.
Smitty had a little fun after the game describing the chatter between himself and Corey about his performance. “I just talked to Corey five minutes ago walking down in here and I said ‘I think you still have some rust on you and he said yeah, I know,’” Smitty said. ”Again, it’s his second game, and actually, he said ‘you don’t need to tell me that. I said, oh yes I do’ (laughing) like he knew it himself…I think in another week or two he’ll be ready to get back to his normal snap count that he was at last year when we were using him as a starter.”
Asante Samuel appeared to have tweaked his neck in the game. Smitty doesn’t think that it’s anything serious, citing the number of reps Samuel still had against Dallas. “I think Asante missed three snaps in the ballgame,” Smith said. “He was able to come back. It was not a head injury. It was a neck issue, but he missed three snaps and was back in.”
FInally, while Corey Peterson has been inactive the entire season so far, it appears as though his rehabilitation is almost complete. Though Smitty wouldn’t say exactly when Peterson is expected to return, it does appear that Corey will be back soon.
For the time being, Atlanta is having to find out just how deep their reserves are. Due to the injuries, Atlanta activated Phillipkeith Manley from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. He replaces Garrett Reynolds who was placed on injured reserve. Filling in for Manley on the practice squad is offensive lineman Jacques McClendon. McClendon was originally drafted by the Colts in the 2010 draft.
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Matthew Asher is a freelance writer covering all things Atlanta sports related. His work can be found on Examiner.com.