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

Patrick PetersonJul 28 04:01p

Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson will be used strictly on defense this season and will not see time in any offensive situations. The Cardinals have excess capacity at wide [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJul 28 03:42p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) has a bone bruise, according to head coach Ron Rivera. There is swelling in the knee but nothing is structurally damaged.

Lamar MillerJul 28 03:37p

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller will be used much like Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy was last season. That means he should see quite a few passes headed his [ More ]

Ndamukong SuhJul 28 03:32p

Detroit Lions DT Ndamukong Suh's contract extension discussion will be put on hold until the end of the season, according to a source.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 28 03:12p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) missed practice Monday, July 28, to receive treatment for his injured hamstring. Head coach Tom Coughlin said Beckham probably has some tests scheduled for the hamstring.

Ryan WilliamsJul 28 03:02p

Dallas Cowboys RB Ryan Williams looks to be a longshot for the final roster, because he is not a good special teams player and would have to help on [ More ]

M. BernadeauJul 28 02:43p

Dallas Cowboys OG Mackenzy Bernadeau has been working at left guard with the first-team offense, because OG Ronald Leary (hamstring) has been dealing with a hamstring injury. Bernadeau and [ More ]

Dan WilliamsJul 28 02:22p

Arizona Cardinals DT Dan Williams (knee) is not expected to participate in practice Monday, July 28, but the team does not believe his knee injury is serious.

Everette BrownJul 28 02:22p

The Washington Redskins have signed free-agent LB Everette Brown (Cowboys). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

B. RoethlisbergerJul 28 02:02p

The Pittsburgh Steelers are confident that they will be able sign QB Ben Roethlisberger before his current contract expires, according to general manager Kevin Colbert. Colbert said he expects [ More ]

Anthony GaitorJul 28 01:42p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed free-agent CB Anthony Gaitor (Dolphins) and undrafted free-agent DT Jibreel Black (Michigan). Terms of the contracts were not disclosed, but all contracts signed [ More ]

Alshon JefferyJul 28 01:32p

Updating a previous report, Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery (foot) left practice early Monday, July 28, because of a sore foot.

Matt CasselJul 28 01:23p

Minnesota Vikings QBs Matt Cassel, Teddy Bridgewater and Christian Ponder have been evenly splitting reps during the early part of training camp, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Turner [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJul 28 01:23p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's (knee) left knee injury isn't expected to be serious, and head coach Ron Rivera is optimistic that Benjamin won't miss much time. Benjamin is [ More ]

Adrian PetersonJul 28 01:12p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson does not need to play in the preseason to show something to the coaching staff, according to head coach Mike Zimmer. Zimmer said Peterson [ More ]

Golden TateJul 28 01:12p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate (shoulder) was removed from the Physically Unable to Perform list Monday, July 28, and he is expected to take part in the team's first [ More ]

Frank GoreJul 28 12:53p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore is unlikely to play in the preseason this year. RBs Carlos Hyde and Jewel Hampton have both looked good so far during training [ More ]

Trent ColeJul 28 12:42p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy and LB Trent Cole squared off in a fight during training camp Sunday, July 27. 'Next thing you know, they're on the ground scuffling,' [ More ]

Charles JohnsonJul 28 10:13a

Cleveland Browns WRs Charles X. Johnson (knee) and Travis Benjamin (knee) are riding the stationary bike and working on the side Monday, July 28.

Micah HydeJul 28 10:03a

Green Bay Packers FS Micah Hyde has the edge over S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix for the starting free safety spot.

Ray RiceJul 28 09:52a

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice did not appeal his two-game suspension.

Kenny StillsJul 28 09:32a

New Orleans Saints WR Robert Meachem (back) and WR Kenny Stills (quadriceps) are out of practice Monday, July 28.

Chris RaineyJul 28 08:52a

The Indianapolis Colts released RB Chris Rainey.

Mike IupatiJul 28 04:02a

The San Francisco 49ers plan to re-sign RG Mike Iupati at some point. Originally the team thought it would not be able to keep him due to a higher [ More ]

Tim HightowerJul 28 03:22a

Former Washington Redskins RB Tim Hightower, who suffered a torn ACL in 2011 and a subsequent infection, was spotted at Washington Redskins camp in the past few days. Hightower [ More ]

Alan BonnerJul 28 12:52a

The Houston Texans have waived injured WR Alan Bonner (foot). Bonner suffered a broken foot during practice Saturday, July 26.

Russell OkungJul 28 12:22a

Seattle Seahawks OT Russell Okung (foot) is about two weeks away from returning to practice, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Terrell McClainJul 28 12:02a

Dallas Cowboys DT Terrell McClain (ankle), LB DeVonte Holloman (dehydration) and FS Matt Johnson (hamstring) left practice early Sunday, July 27, because of injuries.

Koa MisiJul 27 11:52p

Miami Dolphins LB Koa Misi (foot) left practice early Sunday, July 27, because of a foot injury. He has told people that someone stepped on his foot and that he will be fine.

Dre KirkpatrickJul 27 11:02p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Dre Kirkpatrick (hamstring) did not participate in practice Sunday, July 27, because of an apparent hamstring injury. The injury is not expected to keep him out for long.

D.J. HaydenJul 27 10:32p

Oakland Raiders CB D.J. Hayden (foot) still has no definite timetable for his return, but the team is optimistic that he will be ready for the start of the [ More ]

Kyle RudolphJul 27 10:32p

The Minnesota Vikings have signed TE Kyle Rudolph to a five-year extension worth $36.5 million.

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