Falcons Friday Injury Report: Four Out Against Panthers

Josh D. Weiss-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Fullback Lousaka Polite is the one the Falcons will miss most.

Earlier this week, I predicted that Chris Owens and Antone Smith would miss this Sunday's game. That turned out to be correct, but I missed two additional players.

It goes without saying that the Falcons would rather have Chris Owens and thus better cornerback depth, and that Antone Smith is not a significant subtraction with the rest of the running back depth chart healthy. What really hurts is missing Michael Palmer and Lousaka Polite.

Palmer, obviously, is Tony Gonzalez's direct backup and a player the Falcons like to use as a safety valve on a couple of plays a game. He's a well-rounded sort, and if he's out, that means blocking-friendly tight end Tommy Gallarda will get some run. That takes one admittedly lightly-used weapon off the field, though.

Much more significant is the injury to Polite. The Falcons will likely use Jason Snelling as a fullback on Sunday, but as versatile as Snelling is, he isn't quite as good a blocker. Michael Turner and the ground game will suffer at least a little bit for his absence. The good news, of course, is that the Panthers have stunk at stopping the run thus far in 2012.

The rest of the report, for your review:

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