By Matthew Asher
The good news for the Falcons is that the Chicago Bears are significantly more banged up this week as they have 12 players listed on this week’s report (11 with injuries) compared to only seven Falcons. The bad news is that all seven Atlanta players are either starters, or get a decent number of reps in a game.READ MORE: New Study Aims To Settle Debate, Did Dinosaur Blood Run Warm Or Cold?
The offensive side of the ball takes the big hit this week with five of the seven players. Depending on the severity of the injuries to Atlanta’s wide receiver corps, the Falcons may have to rely on their running attack for a victory this week as three receivers are listed on this week’s injury report.
Wide receiver Harry Douglas (foot) is the lone Falcon listed as out this week. He did not participate in any of the practices this week. Douglas is listed as Roddy White’s backup, but with the Falcons running lots of four-receiver sets during the season, Douglas has been called upon more than a typical backup. Douglas’ official backup is Eric Weems but Freddie Martino is the other third-string wideout on the roster.
Two other Falcons are listed as questionable for this game. Starting left guard Justin Blalock (back) and wide receiver/kick returner Devin Hester (hamstring). Blalock was limited in practice all three days while Hester wasn’t as lucky. Hester didn’t participate in practice either Wednesday or Thursday but was able to return in a limited role on Friday. James Stone and Harland Gunn would be the two most likely replacements for Blalock if he can’t suit up Sunday.
The final four Atlanta players are all listed as probable with two on offense and two on defense. All four men were limited in practice on both Wednesday and Thursday but were back to fully participating on Friday. Offensively, starting left tackle Jake Matthews (ankle) and starting wide receiver Julio Jones (ankle) are listed. Ryan Schraeder will probably be called upon to fill in for Matthews if he’s unable to play.READ MORE: Details on gunman and victims in Uvalde, Texas school shooting
On the defensive side of the ball, starting safety Kemal Ishmael (ankle) and starting linebacker Prince Shembo (knee) finish up the Dirty Birds injury report for the week. Sean Baker is listed as Ismael’s backup and Joplo Bartu would likely fill in for Shembo.
A dozen total Bears are listed. Running back Matt Forte is on the list, but he’s listed as non-injury related. Five Bears are officially Out: On the offensive side, center Taylor Boggs and tackle Jermon Bushrod are listed. On the defensive side, linebackers Lance Briggs and Shea McClellin along with safety Admad Dixon complete the list of players who will not suit up. None of these men participated in any practices this week.
Two Bears are listed as Questionable and both are defensive players. Linebacker Jonathan Bostic and cornerback Sherrick McManis. The final four Chicago players are listed as Probable. On the defensive side of the ball, safety Chris Conte, linebacker DJ Williams and nose tackle Jeremiah Ratliff. Only one offensive player, center/guard Roberto Garza completes the list. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:25 pm ET. #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.