By Matthew Asher
For the second week in a row, the big headline with the Falcons injury report isn’t related to anyone on the Falcons roster. Yet again, the news is about the starting quarterback for their opponent, this week the “dysfunctional group” known as the Washington Redskins (according to NFL Hall of Famer John Madden).
Robert Griffin III was officially shut down by Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan earlier in the week, meaning backup quarterback Kirk Cousins will get his chance to showcase his abilities for the final three games of the season. Last week Atlanta lost to Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn. Hopefully they can avoid another losing streak.
It looks like the cold weather in Green Bay last week didn’t harm the Falcons, as only seven players are listed this week. None of the players listed are either defensive or offensive lineman, just the skills positions.
Four of the Falcons are defensive players split evenly with two safeties and two linebackers. Starting free safety Thomas DeCoud (concussion) has been unable to participate in practice at all this week. He is one of two Falcons listed as out for this game. Backup strong safety Zeke Motta (hand) has been limited in practice all three days and is one of four Falcons listed as questionable.
The two linebackers are both starters for Atlanta: middle linebacker Paul Worrilow (shoulder) and outside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (shoulder). Both men were limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday. However while Spoon was also limited in practice on Friday, Worrilow was able to fully participate in practice. Spoon is listed as questionable and Worrilow is the only Falcon listed as probable.
Two of the three Falcons listed on offense are starters: tight end Tony Gonzalez (toe) and wide receiver Roddy White (knee). Both men were limited in practice all three days this week and both are listed as questionable. The final Falcon on this week’s injury report is backup running back Antone Smith (knee). Smith, just like DeCoud, has been unable to practice at all this week and is the other player listed as out for this game.
This late in the season, the question for Atlanta is simply what draft pick will they end up with in 2014. Currently at 3-10, Atlanta is in position for a top five pick. Depending on how the Falcons do against their fellow 3-10 Washington opponent this week, that might signal if Atlanta is waving the white flag on the rest of the season, like Washington is appearing to do, or if they will go out and try to win the final three games of the season. Kickoff is scheduled for 1pm EST.
Probable: a 75% chance the injured player will be medically cleared for the game
Questionable: a 50% chance the injured player will be medically cleared for the game
Doubtful: a 25% chance the injured player will be medically cleared for the game
- Out: there is no chance the injured player will be medically cleared for the game
For more Falcons news and updates, visit Falcons Central.
Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist. From an early age, sports have played a major role in his life. He graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Journalism. After college he spent 2 years working with CNN Sports and still occasionally writes sports articles for several publications both in the United States and Canada. His work can be found on Examiner.com.