White to Miss First Game Since Turning Pro
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By Matthew Asher
It was bound to happen sooner or later. After being banged up since preseason and being used primarily as a decoy throughout the first six Falcons games, Pro Bowl wide receiver Roddy White will not be playing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday afternoon.
White (hamstring/ankle) has never missed a start since he was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons with the 27th overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. His streak of 133 consecutive games played is the third-longest streak in Atlanta Falcons history. This is the first time he has ever missed a game due to injury as a professional.
Despite having an additional week off to recover from injuries thanks to the Bye Week, White isn’t alone. The Falcons have three more players listed as out for the game this Sunday. Running back Steven Jackson (hamstring) and left tackle Sam Baker (knee) are the other two starters for Atlanta unable to play this weekend. Second-string tight end Chase Coffman (knee) is the fourth and final Falcon listed out. None of the four men were able to participate in practice at all this week.
Harry Douglas, Drew Davis and Kevin Cone will all be required to pick up the slack with White being out. Douglas is listed as a starter on the depth chart this week because of Julio Jones being placed on the IR after the loss to the Jets. Ryan Schraeder is the likely replacement for Baker.
With Jackson still out after his Week 2 injury against St. Louis, his former team, the responsibility typically falls to both Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling. However, Snelling (concussion) is on this week’s injury report. But since he was able to fully participate in practice all three days, he’s listed as probable and should be ready to compliment ‘Quizz throughout the game.
Coffman is Tony Gonzalez backup. With all the double-teaming Gonzalez has had to deal with lately, Levine Toilolo would probably be the second tight end brought in if Atlanta needs a big offensive set. The final Falcon listed this week is the only defensive player on the list: starting linebacker Akeem Dent (ankle). Dent did not practice on Wednesday and was limited both Thursday and Friday. Jamar Chaney is Dent’s backup.
With the Bye Week now over, this is Atlanta’s chance to right the ship and try to salvage the rest of the season. Kickoff is scheduled for 1pm EST. #RiseUp
- 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
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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.