The Falcons have been without four time pro bowl wide receiver Roddy White for the past three games as he’s tried to recover from hamstring and ankle issues. Now, that could be a thing of the past.
On Friday, the Falcons released their final injury report for the week, as they prepare to take on the Seattle Seahawks inside the Georgia Dome on Sunday. When I and the collective media talked with White on Thursday, he seemed pretty convinced this week would be his return to the field.
“I wanted to get out there and have a full week of practice before I actually played in a game,” White said. “This was the first full week that I’m going through and I’ll be ready to play.”
That was White’s words and his head coach Mike Smith still maintains that he’s questionable for Sunday’s game, even with the full week of practice.
“This is going to be a cumulative effect for us to make the decision on what his status will be for the game,” Smith said on Thursday after practice.
The truth of the matter is that Roddy’s return would not only help the team. A return of him as a healthy wide receiver would really help Matt Ryan and the quarterback acknowledges that.
“He’s obviously been a really, really good player for us for a long time,” Ryan said. “It’s tough to replace the explosiveness that he brings. So, we’d love to have him back whenever it is.”
Ryan would really appreciate having him back on the field, especially after throwing a combined seven interceptions in the Falcons last two losses to the Cardinals and then Panthers on the road.
Falcons veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez would also like to have Roddy back on the field, calling his potential return, a “breath of fresh air.”
“I’m happy for him that he’s able to get back out there,” Gonzalez said. “He’s the consummate pro, I know for sure he’s going to be back to that Roddy White type of player that we all love and love to play with.”
Gonzalez added that Roddy looked good in this week’s practices, however looked a little rusty.
Roddy White does acknowledge that his return before the hamstring injury earlier in the season when he was dealing with a high ankle sprain might have set him back later on in the year.
“Maybe I would be completely healthy by now and be ready to go,” White said. “It is what it is at this point. I’m ready to play now and get this thing turned around.”
This thing turned around is the Falcons 2-6 record during the regular season and they’ll have to try to improve their record against a tough Seahawks team who comes into this game at 8-1.
This game also features the offseason war of words coming to fruition between Roddy White and Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman. Roddy is taking the high road in this “rivalry.”
“I just don’t circle games on the calendar,” White said. “Every game that I play, that’s the one that is circled throughout the season. There’s no one particular game I go out there and play harder than any other one that I play.”
That might be the case for him, but Sherman tells the media in Seattle a little bit of a different tale. Maybe it’s not by his exact words, but through the style he delivers them. Sherman was asked this week by the media about the challenge of facing White. His response?
“What challenge?” Sherman said.
Sherman was also asked about whether or not there was still a revenge factor in play from the Seahawks loss to the Falcons in the NFC Divisional round.
“ We are an 8-1 ballclub, they are a 2-6 ballclub,” Sherman said.
These were comments were gathered by Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times during Sherman’s media session this week at the Seahawks facility.
So the moral of the story this week, is the Falcons badly need a win and the Seahawks have a chance to pick up their ninth win of the season. However, a huge part of the Falcons possibly picking up that third win of the season would from Roddy White making his return to the field.