Weatherspoon Should Return, Gonzalez May Be Out
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By Matthew Asher
Nine Falcons are listed on this week’s injury report. One is a definite out, three are probable, four are questionable and one’s status isn’t listed. There are five on offense and four on defense. Of the nine players, five are “starters.”
It’s been a tough year for Atlanta’s offensive playmakers. Julio Jones is out for the season and Roddy White (shoulder) has been primarily used as a decoy when he’s on the field. But now Tony Gonzalez (toe) and Harry Douglas (knee) have both been sitting out of practices this week.
Gonzalez did not participate in practice either Wednesday or Thursday this week, but returned on Friday in a limited role. He is listed as questionable. Douglas wasn’t on the injury list until Thursday as he too was unable to practice, but did return Friday in a limited amount. He is also questionable. While Roddy is on the list this week, the good news is that he’s been able to practice both Wednesday and Thursday—albeit in a limited role both days—but was able to fully participate on Friday and is listed as probable.
The ground game of Atlanta’s could also be in some trouble. Starting running back Steven Jackson (toe) was limited in practice on Wednesday but was back to full participation on Thursday and Friday and is listed as probable. One of his two primary backups, Jason Snelling (knee) did not practice on Wednesday, but was back in a limited role on Thursday. Snelling did not practice on Friday but it was a non-injury related reason. His game time status is not given.
The big name on defense for the Falcons this week is former starting linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (foot). Suffering an injury in Week 2’s win against St. Louis, ‘Spoon was placed on the injured reserve-designated list, which meant he would be eligible to return as early as Week 11.
The reason for the quotations around the word starter a few paragraphs above is because ‘Spoon isn’t currently listed on the Falcons depth chart. He was a starter when he was healthy, but he’s currently not listed as a starter. He was limited in practice on Wednesday but able to fully participate on both Thursday and Friday and is listed as probable.
The rest of the defensive injuries appear to be pedestrian. Defensive tackle Corey Peters (knee) is the only other defensive starter listed on this week’s injury report. He did not practice at all on Wednesday but was able to return in a limited role on Thursday and Friday. He is listed as questionable. His backup at defensive tackle, Peria Jerry (toe) has been limited all three days and is also listed as questionable. The final Falcon listed is third-string left defensive end Malliciah Goodman (calf). He was unable to practice the entire week and is the only Falcon listed as out for the game.
Kickoff is scheduled for 1 pm EST.
- 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.