By Matthew Asher
It’s the final week of the regular season. With a Playoff berth on the line, this is when players are going to do everything possible to play if they believe they can help their team win. So regardless of the number of players injured, expect everyone to do their best to still play this Sunday. For the Falcons, seven players are listed this week. However, the Carolina Panthers seem extra lucky as just two players are listed for their team.
Since there are injured Falcons in all three parts of the game (offense, defense and special teams) this will simply order them via their part of the game rather than according to their game status. All players on this week’s list are either starters or get a high number of snaps each game.
The offensive players include right guard Jon Asamoah (back), Steven Jackson (quad) and wide receivers Julio Jones (hip), Roddy White (ankle) and Harry Douglas (foot). Both Asamoah and Douglas were limited in practice all three days. Asamoah is listed as questionable while Douglas is listed as probable. Jackson did not participate in practice at all this week and it’s very probable he will not be suiting up for the first time this season. Jones did not participate in practice either Wednesday or Thursday but did practice in a limited role on Friday. He is listed as questionable. White didn’t practice Wednesday but was able to participate in a limited amount on Thursday and was back to full participation on Friday. He is listed as probable.
Placekicker Matt Bryant (illness) did not practice on Wednesday but was back to full participation on both Thursday and Friday and is listed as probable. Cornerback Robert McClain (illness) only missed practice on Friday and is listed as questionable. The final Falcon listed is cornerback Josh Wilson (hamstring) who did not participate in practice either Wednesday or Thursday but did return in a limited role on Friday. He is also listed as questionable.
As mentioned above, just two Panthers are listed this week. Starting running back DeAngelo Williams (hand) is oddly listed, though he was able to fully participate in practice the entire week. He is listed as probable. On the defensive side of the ball, starting strong-side linebacker A.J. Klein (ankle) was limited in practice the entire week and is listed as questionable.
Again, this game is for all the marbles: an NFC South title and a home game in the opening round of the NFL Playoffs await the winner of this contest. Even though neither team will post a winning record to finish up the season, history does not dictate that the winner of this game will lose their first playoff game. Back in 2010 the Seattle Seahawks finished the regular season with a 7-9 record and won their home playoff game against the New Orleans Saints.
Kickoff is scheduled for 4:25 pm ET at the Georgia Dome. #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.