By Matthew Asher
The Falcons may be riding a two-game winning streak right into the NFC South division lead, but things just got a little more difficult. Not only does Atlanta have to play the Cleveland Browns this Sunday, but there’s also a possibility that a lot of their starters on offense might not play as seven of the Falcons listed are on the offensive side of the ball.
That’s right; seven players. And that’s just on the offense. A total of nine Falcons are listed this week.
As far as the offensive starters, it includes some big names. Wide receiver Julio Jones, fullback Patrick DiMarco and running back Steven Jackson are all listed as with “Illness” as the reason. Jones did not participate Wednesday and Thursday while both DiMarco and Jackson weren’t put on the injured list until Thursday. The final starting offensive player is right guard Jon Asamoah (shoulder), who was limited in practice on Wednesday but was back to full participation on Thursday. These three men are all listed as probable.
Two of the other three Falcons on offense aren’t technically starters, but they are an integral part of the game plan. Wide receivers Harry Douglas (foot) and Devin Hester (wrist) are joined by backup right tackle Jonathan Scott (hamstring). Douglas didn’t practice at all on Wednesday and was limited on Thursday. Hester has been fully participating both Wednesday and Thursday so it’s unclear why he’s on the list this week. Scott has not participated in practice either Wednesday or Thursday. Scott is listed as out while Douglas and Jones are probable.
The final two Falcons are both starters on the defense. Cornerback Robert Alford (wrist) has not suited up for practice either Wednesday or Thursday. Javier Areas is listed as Alford’s backup on the depth chart. Defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (knee) is the final Falcon listed. Just like Hester, Babineaux has fully participated in practice this week. Alford is out for the game while Babineaux is probable.
The good news for the Dirty Birds is that the Dawg Pound isn’t getting off any easier regarding injuries. Ten Browns are listed this week. Unlike the Falcons, the majority of injured Browns are on the defensive side of the ball with six. Defensive end Desmond Bryant and defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin were both able to fully participate in practice. In the linebacker position the Browns have Barkevious Mingo, Karlos Dansby and Jabaal Sheard. The final defensive player is safety Jonson Bademosi, who did not participate in practice. Dansby is listed as doubtful while Sheard and Bademosi are questionable. The rest of the Browns are listed as probable, unless specified.
Although four offensive players are on the injury report, only three of them are actually injured. Josh Gordon is coming back from his 10-game suspension but he’s on the list. He joins wide receiver Marlon Moore, tight end Jordan Cameron and tackle Joe Thomas to round up Cleveland’s injured for Week 11. Moore and Cameron are the only two Browns out for sure.
Kickoff is scheduled for 1 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
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.