The Atlanta Falcons are on the home stretch of their season and it doesn’t get any easier from here. This week, the Falcons will match up against the Chargers and from there move on to playing the Chiefs and the Buccaneers twice.
They’re going to need all the help they can get to finish the season strong, but that might now be the case starting this weekend. Notables such as Julio Jones, James Carpenter, and Ricardo Allen were held out of practice this week. And several others are banged up and were limited in this week’s practice.
Thursday’s Injury Report
Here’s a look at Thursday’s injury report:
FB Keith Smith (neck)
P Sterling Hofrichter (right hamstring)
RB Todd Gurley (knee)
S Keanu Neal (ankle)
RB Ito Smith (neck)
LB Foye Oluokun (neck)
DE Dante Fowler Jr. (hamstring)
TE Hayden Hurst (ankle)
DE Jacob Tuioti-Mariner (neck)
DT Grady Jarrett (groin)
WR Julio Jones (hamstring)
S Ricardo Allen (concussion)
T Kaleb McGary (personal)
G James Carpenter (groin)
Not much good news to come from this aside from the fact that Sterling Hofricter should be okay come Sunday and Keith Smith was able to have full practice despite dealing with a neck injury.
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Thursday’s Injury Report Summed Up
As for the ones listed under “limited participation,” they should all be good to go for Sunday to some extent. If for some reason Todd Gurley and Ito Smith are still struggling then Brian Hill will be expected to step up, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Allen Bailey, Steven Means, and Charles Harris with getting more snaps if Dante Fowler or Jacob Tuioti-Mariner can’t make their debut.
Hayden Hurst and Foye Oluokun’s injury shouldn’t be that serious to keep them sidelines, but if it is then Jaeden Graham and Mykal Walker will move into those slots.
Obviously, we can cross Kaleb McGary off the list as OK, but Ricardo Allen, Julio Jones, and James Carpenter seem concerning here. Allen was hit dead on fairly hard against the Saints and did not return to finish the game. Sharrod Neasman would likely be his substitute.
Jones has been battling this hamstring injury all season and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better for him. Though, there is some upside. Jones didn’t practice at all last week but was limited Friday, so he suited up to play Sunday.
We have seen the Falcons without Julio Jones this season and it has been ugly almost every single time. The only thing that was able to save them was the Falcons’ defense stepping up bigtime.
The Falcons have had a rough season plagued with injuries and players spending time on the COVID-19 list and, of course, trying to become acquainted with their interim head coach, but not get too comfortable.
Even though the losses of interim Raheem Morris, the Falcons have looked like a better football team than they did going 0-5 under Quinn. Under Morris, the Falcons stand at 4-3 and it would be interesting to know what “could have been” if Quinn was gone sooner.
The Chargers to be in the same spot with their head coach Anthony Lynn, who has led this team to an ugly 3-9 record this season. LA is coming off a humiliating 45-0 loss to the New England Patriots. This shouldn’t mean that LA is bound to lose since the Falcons have had a tough time staying consistent, but it also means the Falcons are not unmatched this week and can get the job done if both sides of the ball work together. And down some top starters, the Falcons will need to work extra hard with the defense stepping up more than ever.
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