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Atlanta’s 3rd String Receivers Might See Plenty Of Action Against Rams

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By Matthew Asher

One of Atlanta’s biggest strengths is their depth at wide receiver with Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez. This week, the Falcons may have to rely on their third and possibly fourth option wide receivers against the Rams. The defensive side doesn’t look much better since three of the players listed are starters.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 08:  Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons fumbles the ball against the New Orleans Saints  at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 8, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Julio Jones (Credit, Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Unlike Week 1 where nearly every Falcon was available to play, it’s a lot less unlikely for Week 2. A total of nine Falcons are listed on this week’s injury report with three listed as probable and six listed as questionable.

All three probable players are members of the defense. Starting free safety Thomas DeCoud (knee), second-string defensive tackle Peria Jerry (knee) and backup defensive end Cliff Matthews (neck) all had the same status each day of practice. Wednesday they were all limited in practice but by Thursday and through Friday all three men were able to fully participate in practice. If DeCoud is unable to play Shann Schillinger would likely play in his place.

For the six questionable players, three are on offense and three are on defense. Starting wide receivers Roddy White (ankle) and Julio Jones (knee) along with starting left tackle Sam Baker (knee) were all limited in practice on Friday. Of the three men, Jones was the only one who was able to participate in Thursday’s practice, but did not participate on Wednesday. White and Baker did not practice either on Wednesday or Thursday. Harry Douglas and Drew Davis are currently the backups of Jones and White respectively, and Ryan Schraeder is Baker’s stand-in.

As reported last week, White has never missed a game as a professional playing in all 129 games. Last week he briefly spoke about his current “streak” and the possibility that he might finally miss a game. “When you have the opportunity to play, you just play,” White said. “I never really thought about the streak until everybody else started talking about it.”

On the defensive side, starting defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (knee), starting linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (knee) and starting cornerback Asante Samuel (thigh) were all limited in practice Friday. Samuel and Weatherspoon were limited in practice all three days while Babineaux did not practice either Wednesday or Thursday. Joplo Bartu would fill in for Weatherspoon, Travian Robertson is Babineaux’s backup and Robert Alford is listed as Samuel’s backup.

For reference:

  • Probable: a 75% chance the injured player will be medically cleared for the game
  • Questionable: a 50% chance the injured player will be medically cleared for the game
  • Doubtful: a 25% chance the injured player will be medically cleared for the game
  • Out: there is no chance the injured player will be medically cleared for the game

For more Falcons news and updates, visit Falcons Central.

Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist. From an early age, sports have played a major role in his life. He graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Journalism. After college he spent 2 years working with CNN Sports and still occasionally writes sports articles for several publications both in the United States and Canada. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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