By Matthew Asher
One of the many benefits of having your Bye Week is that it gives your players an additional week to heal up. With the Falcons currently at 2-6, this is something they desperately needed, and for the most part, it looks like the Dirty Birds did just that as only five players are listed as injured for their Week 10 game against Tampa Bay.READ MORE: A student loan servicer told some borrowers payments will be auto-debited Sept. 1. They won't.
Of the five Falcons listed, only one of them will definitely not play on Sunday. Offensive right tackle Jonathan Scott (hamstring) has been unable to participate in any of the practices this week. This shouldn’t be a factor at all because Scott is currently listed as a third-stringer on the Falcons depth chart as the backup to Ryan Schraeder.
Three Atlanta players are listed as questionable. All three were limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday but fully participated on Friday. Wide receiver Harry Douglas (foot), defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi (foot) and running back Antone Smith (neck). Douglas and Smith are technically backups on the depth chart but both men do get a handful of snaps every game.
Regarding Massaquoi, it’s a little fuzzy. On the depth chart, he’s listed as a defensive tackle but on the injury report he’s a defensive end. According to the depth chart, he’s the backup to starting DT Jonathan Babineaux (foot), the final Falcon listed. Babineaux also was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday but was back to full participation on Friday. He is the lone Falcon listed as probable this week.
A total of 12 Bucs are listed. Despite the high number of injuries, just one is listed as out: tackle Anthony Collins (foot). Three Bucs are listed as doubtful: running back Dough “Muscle Hamster” Martin (ankle), offensive tackle Anthony Collins (foot) and cornerback Alterraun Verner (hamstring). These three players did not participate in practice at all this week so it’s unclear if they will suit up at all.READ MORE: NASA's Mega Moon Rocket Arrived At The Launchpad Ahead Of Liftoff
The majority of the Bucs this week are listed as questionable as the final eight players fill out this list with four on offense and four on defense. On the offensive side, all four players are in the skill positions. Wide receiver, and primary receiving target, Vincent Jackson (knee), running back Charles Sims (ankle) and tight ends Austin Seferian-Jenkins (thumb) and Luke Stocker (hip). On the defensive side, the four Bucs listed as linebackers Lavonte David (knee) and Brandon Magee (knee). Defensive end Michael Johnson (hand) and defensive tackle Akeem Spence (hamstring) finish up the list.
With all of the Bucs injuries, especially if Vincent Jackson can’t play, this is a game Atlanta should not only win, but should dominate. Just don’t expect the same result of the Week 3 blowout, but it would be a great way to end this five game losing streak. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 pm ET at Raymond James Stadium. #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
For more Falcons news and updates, visit Falcons Central.MORE NEWS: Diesel Is Now Below $5 A Gallon For The First Time Since March
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.