By Cedric Williams
When the Atlanta Falcons released their official team injury report on Friday, there were 11 players listed as either out, doubtful, questionable, or probable for the team’s upcoming game Sunday afternoon against the San Francisco 49ers.READ MORE: Authorities Have Identified The Suspect Who Attacked Author Salman Rushdie
Several names had been on the list for several weeks, such as safety William Moore (groin), receiver Leonard Hankerson (hamstring), linebacker Justin Durant (calf), and cornerback Robert Alford (groin). All of those players were officially listed as out for Sunday’s game against the 49ers.
But there was one new name on the Atlanta injury report that stood out from the others. And that was rookie outside linebacker/pass rushing specialist Vic Beasley, who was added to the injury report on Friday with a foot injury.
The Falcons first-round draft pick out of Clemson hasn’t missed a game all season, but Beasley did sit out practice on Friday and was officially listed as questionable for the game on Sunday.
If Beasley is unable to play, that will mean either fifth-year pro Adrian Clayborn or eighth-year veteran Kroy Biermann will have to start in his place. Both have played well when their numbers have been called coming off the bench for the Falcons this season.
The other players named on Atlanta’s injury report were all labeled as probable. Those players were DT Jonathan Babineaux (non-injury related), DE Tyson Jackson (ribs), C Mike Person (ankle), C James Stone (calf), CB Desmond Trufant (back), and receiver Nick Williams (hamstring).
In San Francisco, head coach Jim Tomsula is still hoping that starting running back Carlos Hyde will be able to play on Sunday, despite a stress fracture in his left foot.
Hyde suffered the injury during San Francisco’s October 11 game against the New York Giants, and was able to play two more games on it, before having to sit out last week’s 27-6 loss to the NFC West rival St. Louis Rams.READ MORE: Anne Heche's Son Mourns His Mother
In that game, the 49ers saw two other backs – veteran Reggie Bush and rookie Mike Davis – get injured as well, forcing San Francisco to sign two street free agents this week. They join rookie Kendall Gaskins, who was called up from the Niners’ practice squad last Saturday, so that team will have enough running backs on the roster to play last Sunday’s game in St. Louis and get through practice this week.
The two new players added this week are third-year man Shaun Draughn, who was with Cleveland earlier this season, and former New Orleans sometime starter and sometime third-down back Pierre Thomas.
Tomsula told the San Francisco-area media on Friday that while he was holding out hope that Hyde might be able to play, he expected to be using all three of his new guys against the Falcons on Sunday.
“Kendall has obviously been here all the way through and we know who he is and what he’s about, the way he works and his intelligence and how good he is and those things,” Tomsula said. “And he’s a bigger, thicker guy. So he’s done very well.
“Pierre Thomas and Shaun Draughn, those guys have come in, obviously vets. We’ve seen them play… they’ve got skill. They’re both good backs. The stuff that they’re doing here and the way that they’re conducting themselves is really good. Really impressive.”
Atlanta Falcons Injury Report
DT Jonathan Babineaux (non-injury related)
DE Tyson Jackson (ribs)
C Mike Person (ankle)
C James Stone (calf)
CB Desmond Trufant (back)
WR Nick Williams (hamstring)
Vic Beasley (foot)
CB Robert Alford (groin)
LB Justin Durant (calf)
WR Leonard Hankerson (hamstring)
S William Moore (groin)
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.