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NFL Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons: White to Play Season Opener Against New Orleans Saints

Roddy White

Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

When superstar receiver Roddy White sprained his right ankle against the Baltimore Ravens in the second preseason game for the Atlanta Falcons, it seemed that “Superman” would finally miss his first game since entering the league eight years ago.

Instead of the 31-year-old White taking it easy with his latest injury, he guaranteed to the Falcons’ fans that he would be on the field with his teammates, as they take on a New Orleans Saints team that will be trying to regain their “Alpha Dog” status in the NFC South.

“Come Sunday I’ll be ready to go,” White said Thursday. “My adrenalin will be pumping and once you get out there you’ve got to just go play.”

 Although White didn’t promise that he would be 100 percent out on the field, he will manage to keep his impressive streak of playing in 128 games consecutively, alive. Coach Mike Smith made sure to take precautions with his Pro Bowl receiver, as he did not allow White to play in the last two preseason games and limited him in practice when he returned.
White may not have super strength to throw buildings, or shoot lasers out of his eyes, but according to Smith, he has the will and determination to overcome any obstacle thrown in his way.
“Eight years. It says a lot about the type of player Roddy White is,” Smith said after Thursday’s practice. “Since we’ve been here he is undoubtedly the toughest player on our team. There have been times he’s had to fight through things to get there on the field and I don’t know if there’s anyone quite like him on our roster.”
Not only will White carry on his “Iron Man” streak for games consecutively played, but he has quietly put on other impressive records that shows just how valuable he is to the Falcons.  In 2012, he had 92 catches for 1,353 yards, becoming only the fifth player in NFL history with three consecutive seasons of at least 90 receptions and 1,200 yards. With six straight seasons of 1,000 yards receiving, White holds the longest record in team history.

Even though White has stated that he will not be at full strength, the Saints’ defense will still game plan against the wideout the same way they have done in the past, as he will be one of their top defensive priorities in terms of shutting down.

“We know that ultimately those reports mean nothing when big games are at hand,” Saints cornerback Jabari Greer said Thursday. “So we’re preparing as if he’s going to be out there full speed, 100 percent and we’re not going to be surprised by anything.

“He’s a receiver that can present problems, so we just have to make sure we respectfully prepare for him.”

Despite the streaks and records, White’s durability has allowed him to become one of the top receivers in the league, which has allowed the Falcons in owning one of the best receiving trio in the league. White doesn’t care about individual awards, but his passion and love for the game itself is what keeps White going.

“I never thought about it really,” he said. “You just go out there and football players play football. You never think about if you’re going to miss a game or not play. If you have the opportunity to go out there and play, you just play.”

White will indeed do what he does best, and that is to suit up and play alongside his teammates. Whether he is 30 percent or 100 percent, “Superman” White will always find a way to be out on the field for the Dirty Birds.

Daniel Chi is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanielChi24, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google