2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Falcons' offense still missing 3 injured starters

By CHARLES ODUM - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-15 15:35

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - The Atlanta Falcons returned from their bye week Tuesday with big holes to fill on offense.

Running back Steven Jackson was only an observer and wide receiver Roddy White and left tackle Sam Baker were not on the field for the portion of the practice open to reporters.

White, already slowed by a right ankle sprain, left the Falcons' 30-28 loss to the New York Jets on Oct. 7 with a hamstring injury. Leading receiver Julio Jones hurt his right foot in the game and will miss the remainder of the season.

Harry Douglas, Kevin Cone and Drew Davis could be Atlanta's top three receivers against Tampa Bay on Sunday. Brian Robiskie, who signed last week, had extra work with quarterback Matt Ryan Tuesday.

Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said he must tweak the offense to fit the strengths of the fill-ins.

``With Julio definitely out and Roddy may or may not be out, those are two of the best players in the NFL,'' Koetter said.

``Are those (backup) guys going to be as good? That's an obvious question and answer.''

The injuries have added more gloom to the Falcons' 1-4 start. Atlanta will take a three-game losing streak into Sunday's game.

``We're in a difficult streak with injuries right now, but I think as coaches we look at it as a challenge,'' Koetter said. ``No one thinks you have a chance right now, so let's try to figure out a way to get this done.''

Koetter said it is a ``no-brainer'' that tight end Tony Gonzalez could become quarterback Matt Ryan's top target. Gonzalez, 37, has 22 catches for 246 yards and two touchdowns the last two weeks.

If Gonzalez receives extra defensive attention from the Buccaneers, Douglas and other receivers must take advantage of one-on-one coverages.

``Those guys have to do the best they can and we've got to play to their strengths and work with the guys we have,'' Koetter said. ``We've still got a great quarterback. We've still got a great tight end. We've still got excellent running backs. It just changes the way you attack a little bit.''

Douglas has been a complement to Jones and White the last two seasons and has never been asked to be the team's No. 1 receiver. That could change this week, especially if Tampa Bay focuses its defense on Gonzalez.

``I'm the kind of player, I'm not selfish at all,'' Douglas said. ``I'm here to do whatever I'm asked to do. If that is to be a No. 1, I've got to step up and be a No. 1. ... I don't shy away from anything.''

Douglas said players have remained positive through the stretch of losses and injuries.

``We've got to do what we've got to do to stay close as a team so we can turn this thing around,'' Douglas said. ``You can't moan and complain. You can't point fingers. And that's one thing we do a great job of. We've owned up to the mistakes we've made in games. Now we just have to turn the ship around.''

Baker missed the game against the Jets with a knee injury.

The good news for Atlanta on Tuesday was the return of running back Jason Snelling from a concussion. Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers would continue to share time if Jackson misses his fourth straight game with a hamstring injury.

The bye week gave Snelling time to clear the NFL's concussion protocol. The Falcons worked without pads on Tuesday. Coach Mike Smith said Snelling also will be cleared for contact drills on Wednesday.

``I had to take my time to get right and go through all the protocols,'' Snelling said. ``It felt good to be out there with my team again.''

The defense is missing linebackers Akeem Dent (ankle) and Sean Weatherspoon (foot). Dent, who didn't play against the Jets, did not participate in the open portion of Tuesday's practice. Weatherspoon must miss at least five more games.

Earlier in the season, starting fullback Bradie Ewing and defensive end Kroy Biermann were placed on injured reserve.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Charles ClayNov 21 05:52p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and he is doubtful for Week 12 against the Denver Broncos. Clay suffered a setback in practice [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 21 05:32p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is questionable for Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Bill O'Brien said Foster would [ More ]

Jason AvantNov 21 04:52p

The Kansas City Chiefs will sign free-agent WR Jason Avant (Panthers), according to a source. Avant worked out for the team Friday, Nov. 21.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 03:32p

Updating a previous report, Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is listed as probable for Week 12.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 03:12p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) is considered a game-time decision for Week 12, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's appeal hearing is scheduled to occur Dec. 2, and commissioner Roger Goodell will not be in charge of the hearing. Former NFL employee Harold [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 02:22p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was not participating during the media-access portion of practice Friday, Nov. 21. Fitzgerald was working on the side during that part of practice.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 02:22p

Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) has passed his concussion test and is good to go in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Giovani BernardNov 21 02:12p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, clavicle) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12.

Julius ThomasNov 21 02:12p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins after putting in a limited practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 02:02p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) practiced in full Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins, according to head coach John Fox.

Julius ThomasNov 21 01:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle), who appeared limited during practice Friday, Nov. 21, figures to be a game-time decision against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12. Thomas said [ More ]

Dwayne AllenNov 21 01:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jonas GrayNov 21 01:22p

New England Patriots RB Jonas Gray (undisclosed) was a no-show at practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Jordan ReedNov 21 01:12p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) missed his third straight day of practice Friday, Nov. 21, and head coach Jay Gruden said Reed has been ruled out for Week [ More ]

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 01:12p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) is participating in practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 11:02a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said he'll gladly return this season if he wins the appeal of his indefinite suspension. If he loses his appeal and has to sit [ More ]

Latavius MurrayNov 21 10:32a

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) has earned himself a larger role in the offense, according to interim head coach Tony Sparano. His concussion, obviously, will dictate when that [ More ]

LeGarrette BlountNov 21 10:32a

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was not signed by the team to replace RB Jonas Gray as the between-the-tackles runner. Blount's presence gives the team another tough inside [ More ]

Jeremy HillNov 21 10:02a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill will be the leader in a 65-35 split of the carries with RB Giovani Bernard in Week 12, in the opinion of beat writer Paul Dehner Jr.

Emmanuel SandersNov 20 07:42p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) has done conditioning work and will be evaluated again Friday, Nov. 21.

Eric KushNov 20 07:03p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared WR A.J. Jenkins, QB Aaron Murray, CB Christopher Owens, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, CB Jamell Fleming, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif inactive for Week 12.

Matt McGloinNov 20 07:03p

The Oakland Raiders have declared CB Carlos Rogers, TE David Ausberry, OG Gabe Jackson, SS Jonathan Dowling, QB Matt McGloin, OG Tony Bergstrom, CB Travis Carrie inactive for Week 12.

Charles ClayNov 20 06:42p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Tauren PooleNov 20 06:42p

The New Orleans Saints released RB Tauren Poole Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jordan CameronNov 20 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Arian FosterNov 20 05:52p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited the previous day.

Pierre ThomasNov 20 05:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20. Thomas has missed the last four games, but he said there's a chance that [ More ]

Jerick McKinnonNov 20 05:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jimmy SmithNov 20 04:32p

Baltimore Ravens CB Jimmy Smith (foot) said Thursday, Nov. 20, that a Lisfranc injury is the reason he is out for the rest of the season.

Montee BallNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Ronnie HillmanNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group