The Atlanta Falcons are ready to go to work against the St. Louis Rams for week two, But not every employee is guaranteed to clock in on Sunday. The two obvious ones questionable are wide receiver Roddy White and defensive back Asante Samuel. But there are four other names listed as questionable that could give Falcons fans a reason to worry: Wide receiver Julio Jones, tackle Sam Baker, linebacker Sean Weatherspoon and defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux.
According to reports from Atlantafalcons.com, White did not practice on Wednesday, and all players listed as questionable were limited at practice on Friday. Even though White’s ankle is still not 100 percent, Atlanta head coach Mike Smith expects White to play against the Rams on Sunday. But the wise choice would be to spare White’s ankle the risk of injuring it further and let it fully heal for the Miami Dolphins in week three. White, the all-time leader in reception yards for the Falcons, is usually a big weapon in Matt Ryan‘s arsenal, but he was ineffective against the New Orleans Saints last week.
Usually, White and Samuel are two players who have others to fill the void in their place, But with Jones listed as questionable with an injured knee, Ryan and the Falcons’ offense will be without an extra deep threat if Jones sits, which leaves just wide receiver Harry Douglas as the next viable option. Also, if Atlanta can’t establish a running game with running back Steven Jackson early on against St. Louis, it will be a long day for Ryan against a Rams’ pass rush that sacked Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer four times last week.
Defensively, Atlanta needs all the help they can get in their already weak pass rush. Rams quarterback Sam Bradford threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns last week, so the Falcons need to keep Bradford at bay. Osi Umenyiora, who has yet to record a sack this season, already has his work cut out for him on Sunday against a solid Rams offensive line, which slowed the Cardinals defensive line the entire game in week one. Hopefully by Sunday, with the exception of White, all will be ready to go by game time. Otherwise, it’s going to a nail biter at the Georgia Dome.