By Cedric Williams
Falcons wide receiver Roddy White, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow just two weeks ago, returned to practice this week and seems likely to play Monday night when Atlanta opens up its 2015 NFL season with a visit from the Philadelphia Eagles.
White made his return to the practice field on Monday, but only participated in certain drills as he eased his way back into the mix. Throughout the week though, the 11-year veteran made solid progress in his workouts and by Thursday was a full-participant in Falcons practice.
Head coach Dan Quinn didn’t say for sure that White would play on Monday, but he definitely sounded like he thought it was going to happen.
“Knowing the competitor he is, I have no doubts,” Quinn said on Tuesday. “I saw him run yesterday, and catching about 150 balls. Typical Roddy, (he) is chomping at the bit to get going. He looked great today.”
Running back Devonta Freeman (hamstring), left tackle Jake Matthews (back), linebacker Joplo Bartu (quadricep), and defensive back Robenson Therezie (groin) also practiced on Thursday, but were all limited and remain questionable for Monday night.
Wide receiver/kick returner Devin Hester (turf toe) didn’t practice at all this week. But Quinn said he believed Hester would be ready to go Monday night.
The Eagles on the other hand, find themselves a mostly healthy group heading into the opener. Only two players are listed on their injury report.
Tight end Zach Ertz (groin) and linebacker Marcus Smith (hamstring) were both limited in practice throughout the week. Head coach Chip Kelly told the Philadelphia area media that Ertz, who is recovering from surgery he had four weeks ago, was closer to playing Monday than Smith was, and that it would probably be a game-time decision.
“Zach did a good job,” Kelly said. “Now, he was limited in (Wednesday’s) practice. Just him and Marcus were really limited in practice so we know we’re getting them back but we’re not going to throw them in the deep end of the pool and tell them to swim.
“(Ertz) was limited in his reps, but said he didn’t feel any real residual from yesterday but we still have two more days of training so we’ll see how it plays itself out. But, in the limited reps yesterday, he said he felt good… Marcus, same thing, but both of those guys were limited so they went through individuals with their coaches and then it was really (here and there) when we got to team and 7-on-7 with those guys.”
ATLANTA FALCONS Injury Report
PROBABLE: WR Roddy White (elbow).
QUESTIONABLE: LB Joplo Bartu (quadricep), RB Devonta Freeman (hamstring), WR/KR Devin Hester (turf toe), OT Jake Matthews (back), DB Robenson Therezie (groin).
OUT: LB Brooks Reed (groin).
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES Injury Report
QUESTIONABLE: TE Zach Ertz (groin), LB Marcus Smith (hamstring).
Cedric Williams, a lifelong St. Louisan and proud UMSL alum, has been a full-time reporter/photographer covering St. Louis area sports for nearly two decades. Most recently, he has been working as a credentialed beat writer covering the NFL, as well as college and high school sports for the St. Louis American, Patch.com, and other outlets from around the area. Please share any comments, questions, or feedback with Cedric at email@example.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com.