By Matthew Asher
For yet another consecutive week for Atlanta, there is another short list of their players on the current week’s injury report. Just a half dozen Falcons are listed this week.
With an even number of players listed, there are a lot of perfect splits regarding grouping s of these Falcons. Half the players are on offense and the other half on defense. Exactly three starters and three backups comprise the list and half of all players listed are listed as questionable.
Two of the questionable Falcons are on offense: starting tight end Tony Gonzalez (toe) and fourth string running back Antone Smith (knee). Gonzalez was limited in practice Thursday through Saturday. Smith did not participate in practice on Thursday but was able to practice in a limited amount both Friday and Saturday.
The final Falcon listed as questionable is starting outside lineman Sean Weatherspoon (knee). Spoon didn’t participate in any practices this week. Stephen Nicholas is currently listed as Spoon’s backup if he is unable to start on Monday. If Gonzalez cannot play, expect both Chase Coffman and Levine Toilolo to fill in for Tony throughout the game.
Just one Falcon is listed as questionable: starting free safety Thomas DeCoud. The bad news is that he’s listed as recovering from a concussion. The good news is that he’s been able to fully participate in practices this week. If DeCoud cannot play, expect Kemal Ishmael to fill in for him.
The final two Falcons are listed as out for the Monday Night Football game. Fortunately both of them are backup players: third string wide receiver Darius Johnson (ankle) and second string strong safety Zeke Motta (hand/neck). Johnson was unable to practice any of the three days this week. Motta was limited in practice on Thursday, but like Johnson, he missed Friday and Saturday’s practices.
It’s been said before, but with Atlanta merely playing for pride, the next best thing to winning in the NFL Playoffs is to deny your opponent a chance to play in it as well. San Francisco desperately needs a win to keep their own Playoff hopes alive and while nothing can erase last year’s NFC title game, beating a heavily favored team in their home is always satisfying. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:40 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
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.