With Julio Jones out for the year and Roddy White still hobbling on one leg, Harry Douglas‘ role will most likely expand greatly, as he becomes the next top receiver for Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons.
Although the jury is still out on whether or not White will miss a game even after the bye, the Falcons are preparing for the worst, as they will try to figure out which two receivers will line up and take those two spots that have always been cemented to White and Jones. Douglas seems to be in line to take over the top spot that has been vacated with Jones’ season-ending foot injury, as he is ready for whatever.
“You have to take what the defense gives you, basically,” Douglas told ESPN. “For me, that’s just going out there and being me. I’m not going to try and be somebody I’m not.”
With the signing of Brian Robiskie, he will join wide receivers Kevin Cone, Drew Davis and Douglas competing for the starting position. When Jones was place on injured reserve the Falcons lost their best deep threat. They will now begin their search for which receiver will have the opportunity to become the best replacement.
Out of these four players, Douglas will most likely become Ryan’s favorite target, as he is not only a veteran, but has shown flashes of his ability to make plays and gain massive yards after the catch. Though Douglas is most comfortable playing in his slot position, if the Falcons want to continue their identity as an elite passing team, they will need Douglas to step up his game and play multiple positions.
With Jones out for the entire year, Douglas will get his chance to showcase his talent and become a top wide receiver for Ryan. It is his time to shine and become the player that the Falcons envisioned whey they drafted him in 2008. The first step will be expanding his role, and the rest is up to Douglas to capitalize on the opportunities that he receives.