By Matthew Asher
If Atlanta wasn’t already struggling with Tony Gonzalez being double-teamed constantly and Roddy White continually nursing a nagging injury he suffered in the preseason, there’s a good chance it’s about to get much worse. The Falcons may be without their other starting wide receiver, Julio Jones, possibly for the remainder of the season.
With a 1-4 record going into their Bye Week, there have been many issues with the 2013 Atlanta Falcons. I’ve heard all the Monday Morning Quarterbacks (Tuesday Morning this week) harp about why the Falcons are off to their worst start since Matt Ryan and Mike Smith became members of the team.
“The Falcons haven’t been able to score in the red zone.” “Atlanta can’t hold onto a lead late in the game.” “The Dirty Birds dig themselves too deep in a hole to mount a comeback.” etc. And while these people always talk about how they would run the organization better, they never talk about one big reason Atlanta has had such a rough start this year: the injuries. That’s probably because it’s the one thing that nobody has total control over in a game.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that every week some member of the Falcons starting lineup has gotten severely injured. In just one week defensive end Kroy Biermann, fullback Bradie Ewing and linebacker Sean Weatherspoon were all placed on the team’s injured reserve list with Weatherspoon on the injured reserve-designated list meaning the earliest he can return is Week 11. Running back Steven Jackson hasn’t played since Week 2 and with White’s nagging injuries, he may as well have been sitting out of these games, including the Jets game when he was unable to finish the game because of his hamstring.
While Jones was able to pull down eight receptions for 99 yards against the Jets on Monday Night Football, he injured his right foot during the game and may be placed on injured reserve as well. Smitty briefly spoke about the injury after the loss to the Jets. “Julio injured his foot last night,” Smitty said. “He saw our doctors this morning. He is going to have a second opinion tomorrow over in Charlotte. The first reports were not encouraging. But we will wait to see what the second opinion comes back as.”
This is the same foot that Jones injured during the NFL combine and was required to have surgery performed. While Jones’ status will be unknown until sometime on Wednesday, current backup wide receivers Harry Douglas, Drew Davis and Kevin Cone should start preparing for their Week 7 game against the Bucs like they’re going to be the starters.
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.