2015 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

Richard RodgersJul 1 05:03p

Green Bay Packers TE Richard Rodgers could see more playing time in 2015, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Rodgers played 528 snaps, while fellow TE Andrew Quarless played [ More ]

Rob HouslerJun 30 03:13p

Cleveland Browns TEs Gary Barnidge, Rob Housler and Jim Dray could all end up taking over for TE Jordan Cameron, who is now with the Miami Dolphins. Head coach [ More ]

Sam BradfordJun 29 05:22p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (knee) is expected to be in the final phase of his rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament once training camp begins. Bradford's second [ More ]

Charles JohnsonJun 29 02:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Charles X. Johnson appears to have everything it takes to produce in the NFL, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. 'He's got great work ethic, and [ More ]

C.J. SpillerJun 28 09:02p

New Orleans Saints RB C.J. Spiller has a perfect skill-set for head coach Sean Payton's system, which relies on getting the ball to players in space, according Chris Wesseling [ More ]

Tony MoeakiJun 25 07:12p

Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Moeaki will compete with TE Jacob Tamme for the Falcons' starting tight end job during training camp. QB Matt Ryan praised both tight ends for [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJun 25 03:52p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's reported weight gain this offseason is being overblown, according to general manager Dave Gettleman. Gettleman expects Benjamin to be ready to go for training [ More ]

Antoine CasonJun 25 03:03a

Free-agent CB Antoine Cason (foot) will miss the 2015 season due to surgery he underwent on Tuesday, June 23. Cason (Ravens) did not specify what type of surgery he [ More ]

Marvin JonesJun 24 09:13p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Marvin Jones (ankle, foot) did not play in 2014 due to multiple foot and ankle issues, but he is healthy and was impressive in organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp.

Keith WenningJun 24 02:43p

Free-agent QB Keith Wenning (Ravens) signed with the Cincinnati Bengals Wednesday, June 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Pierre GarconJun 24 02:23p

Washington Redskins WR Pierre Garcon could be featured more often in the passing game this season based on the offseason workouts. Garcon often lined up to the right of [ More ]

Martavis BryantJun 24 01:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers WRs Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant are expected to compete for the No. 2 wide receiver job during training camp. Both players performed well during offseason workouts.

Peyton ManningJun 24 11:53a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning was the subject of preliminary trade discussions with the Houston Texans, according to a source. The talks occurred before Manning restructured his deal and [ More ]

Rueben RandleJun 24 10:53a

New York Giants WR Rueben Randle was the best receiver on the field by a wide margin during spring practices, in the opinion of beat writer Jordan Ranaan. Randle [ More ]

Chris IvoryJun 24 10:43a

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory is listed as the starting running back entering training camp, according to beat writer Rich Cimini's unofficial depth chart. RB Bilal Powell is [ More ]

Devonta FreemanJun 23 10:22a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman enters training camp ahead of RB Tevin Coleman on the depth chart.

Joseph RandleJun 23 10:02a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle appears to be the clear leader at running back, and it's his job to lose in training camp.

Ahmad BradshawJun 22 11:32p

Free-agent RB Ahmad Bradshaw (Colts) has been suspended one game for violation of the league's substance abuse policy. If he signs with a team he must sit out for the first week.

Terrelle PryorJun 22 04:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Terrelle Pryor was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns Monday, June 22, according to a source.

Fred DavisJun 19 06:02p

New England Patriots TE Fred Davis was released Friday, June 19.

Dennis PittaJun 19 02:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) was not medically cleared to practice in minicamp as he continues to recover from his second dislocated and fractured hip in as many [ More ]

Isaiah CrowellJun 19 01:22p

Cleveland Browns RB Isaiah Crowell could be the workhorse back if his ball security improves, according to offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

Devonta FreemanJun 19 01:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman will be used in a lot of different ways, including as a receiver, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'I knew Devonta had terrific [ More ]

Chris OgbonnayaJun 19 11:32a

Free-agent RB Chris Ogbonnaya (Giants) announced his retirement Friday, June 19.

John MoffittJun 18 11:02p

Free-agent OG John Moffitt unretired Wednesday, June 17, and cleared waivers Thursday, June 18. He is free to sign with a team of his choosing. The Philadelphia Eagles, Miami [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 09:32p

Free-agent QB Terrelle Pryor is going to give it a shot at playing wide receiver in the NFL. Some teams have already expressed an interest.

Allen RobinsonJun 18 09:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson was described as 'unbelievable' by QB Blake Bortles Thursday, June 18. 'He's definitely a threat now in the red zone. ... He's physical. He [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 05:32p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Terrelle Pryor was waived Thursday, June 18.

Taylor ThompsonJun 18 05:32p

Tennesse Titans TE Taylor Thompson was waived Thursday, June 18.

Matthew MulliganJun 18 04:32p

Free-agent TE Matthew Mulligan (Titans) signed an undisclosed contract with the Buffalo Bills Thursday, June 18.

Carlton MitchellJun 18 04:22p

Free-agent WR Carlton Mitchell (Buccaneers) signed an undisclosed contract with the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, June 18. WR Shane Wynn was waived.

Daniel ThomasJun 18 04:12p

Free-agent RB Daniel Thomas (Dolphins) signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears Thursday, June 18. Financial terms were not disclosed.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group