On Wednesday, the Falcons released a lengthy injury report that seemed as long as the Constitution itself. To make matters worse, key players will end up missing practice or be kept out of practice in hopes of giving time for players to heal up before Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams.
Wide receiver Roddy White (ankle), left tackle Sam Baker (knee), wide receiver Julio Jones (knee) and defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (knee) are some of the key players who did not practice on Wednesday.
To add to the injury report, free safety Thomas DeCoud (knee), defensive tackle Peria Jerry (knee), defensive tackle Cliff Matthews (neck), cornerback Asante Samuel (thigh) and linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (knee) were limited.
Already with a huge question mark on the right side of the offensive line, the Falcons are hoping that Baker’s knee injury is nothing to worry about, as they can’t afford to lose one of their best linemen with an already thin depth chart. With Baker on the sidelines during practice, Lamar Holmes moved over to left tackle and Jeremy Trueblood took over at right tackle in an attempt to prepare for the worst.
In their first game against the Saints, the Falcons secondary was exposed, as they were without their best cornerback and leader Asante Samuel. Despite the long injury report, the Falcons did receive good news when Samuel announced that he will suit up on Sunday and make his debut for the Falcons in 2013.
With key players hurt and his team banged up, coach Mike Smith went a little softer in practice and gave his guys a little bit of breathing room.
“We took the pads off about halfway through practice,” Smith said according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “A lot of our guys were a little banged up from the game on Sunday. It was a very physical football game.”
Smith also sidestepped a question concerning White’s injury update, and if the Pro Bowler indeed suffered a more severe high-ankle sprain after the Saints game.
“Again, I’m not going to talk about injuries,” Smith said. “I’m not going to editorialize about each specific guy. I’ll let you guys do the editorializing on the injuries. We will give an injury report. It comes out at 4 o’clock and it will be in your in box.”