By Danny Cox

When the Atlanta Falcons step on the field against the New York Jets on Monday night, they’ll be doing it in a three-game hole in the NFC South. Their early problems are not being helped by the fact that the New Orleans Saints are tearing it up each and every single week.

The New York Jets are looking worse this season even though they are sitting at 2-2 in the AFC East. Luck is really playing a part on their season and it’s a shock they are even where they are.

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 20:  Linebacker Stephen Nicholas #54 of the Atlanta Falcons celebrates with cornerback Asante Samuel #22 after recovering a fumble by wide receiver Michael Crabtree #15 of the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game at the Georgia Dome on January 20, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Credit, Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Atlanta is looking healthier than they have been, but they’ve got to make the most out of whatever talent is on the field. Hopefully, one more day of rest will allow players such as cornerback Asante Samuel and linebacker Paul Worrilow to heal up enough for Monday’s game.

Samuel has been dealing with a hamstring injury, but he was able to return to practice on Friday in a limited capacity. Worrilow also returned to limited practice on Friday and the hope is that his knee is doing better.

Robert McClain or Robert Alford could fill in for Samuel if he’s out, but the Falcons are struggling in the linebacker department. Worrilow is a back-up, but one of the only ones that are on the team. Not to mention that Akeem Dent did not practice due to a sprained right foot and is most likely out for Monday as well.

Wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White were also both limited in practice with knee and ankle injuries respectively.

Matt Ryan can not afford to be without both of his top receivers, and you can guarantee that both are going to attempt to play on Monday. If only one were to step on the field against the Jets, my money would be on White being healthy enough to be out there. Harry Douglas can fill in nicely if one receiver is out, but missing both would be catastrophic for the Falcons’ offense.

Running back Steven Jackson is definitely out again this week with a hamstring injury that has sidelined him for a while now.

Jacquizz Rodgers will most definitely get the start again at running back with Jason Snelling as the back-up. Jackson did not practice this past week, but it is expected that he could be back in a week or maybe two.

Rodgers and Snelling will have to help in the blocking game though and protect Matt Ryan as offensive tackle Sam Baker is listed as “Out.” Baker’s knee problem just isn’t in a place where he could practice or play, and he’ll be replaced by Ryan Schrader.


  • RB Steven Jackson – Hamstring
  • OT Sam Baker – Knee
  • LB Akeem Dent – Ankle


  • LB Paul Worrilow – Knee


  • WR Julio Jones – Knee
  • WR Roddy White – Ankle
  • CB Asante Samuel – Thigh


  • DT Jonathan Babuneaux – Foot
  • WR Drew Davis – Ankle

For more Falcons news and updates, visit Falcons Central.

Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on


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