First time making a fanpost here. Anyway I'll try to keep it short and sweet.
I've been thinking recently about the injury bug hitting us, and finding it odd, but I don't feel panicked at all about it. I know there are others who feel the same, and others who feel like it's over already. Here's why I don't worry about it too much.
I think the first and obvious argument that most of us who are still holding faith is that we have a wonderful surplus of depth talent that we haven't had in years past. With players like Joplo Bartu emerging, and our two rookie cornerbacks playing well along with McClain holding steady the injuries haven't hurt us too much yet.
Second, everyone misses Roddy White. He's the kind of guy that few receivers in the league can replace. Him and Matt Ryan have had so much time to get a feel for each other. The reason this may be a decent year for Roddy to be injured? Julio has had a few years now with Ryan as well. He is starting to get that same connection that Ryan and White have. Roddy won't be around forever, and we need someone there once he retires anyway. We are lucky to have two receivers of White and Jones's talent. A lot of teams don't even have one. Production will drop off with White gone obviously, but we can't be the kind of team who relies on one guy, except for Matt Ryan, as their whole offense. Similarly is the Steven Jackson situation, although he won't be gone long, it's good that we can count on guys like Snelling to step in and produce when called upon. We need more of that. It's not unlikely to have injuries once you make it to the playoffs. We need to be the kind of team that can overcome those injuries, and I think we are.
If you look at our schedule, it's pretty forgiving until November. The a week from Sunday we have the Patriots at home, a team who have had their share of injury troubles as well. After that we play the Jets, Buccaneers, Cardinals, and Panthers. Not exactly a list of teams lighting the NFL on fire. Not to say we will win all of those games hands down, but they don't compare to the challenges we face later on this season. We face the Seahawks Nov. 10th at home. This is 7 weeks from Sunday. White, Samuels, and Jackson should all be healthy by then. Weatherspoon won't be eligible to return until the week after, but Bartu will see a lot of snaps by then, and should have some growing pains out of the way. Not to mention we hope Sam Baker gets back to full health by this point, and continues in form with his 2012 play. November 21st we host the Saints at home. We would like to see Weatherspoon back by this point. He's eligible the week before to return I believe. We also face the Packers and 49'ers in December. Barring more injuries between now and then, we should be a relatively healthy team by the time our schedule gets tough.
My last point I'd like to make is that there may be some good that comes from all of the injuries. The one thing it does, is forces Mike Smith to give our younger guys a shot. We don't really know what they can do in a game until they get out there and play. To anyone who has ever played football in school, you know practice is completely different from games. Some guys just have something snap in them once they get out their and play. Other guys show talent, but the coaches can be afraid of teams exposing the weaknesses of the rookies. So far, this year it has paid off for us. Alford wouldn't have seen much time yet were it not for Samuels injury. Bartu may not have gotten as many snaps last Sunday had Nicholas not been battling an injury. I think it may do us some good to see what our guys can do. Lets find our what Massaquoi can do given more snaps. Maybe Goodman and Maponga will step up. I think we are all excited to see if Worrilow gets some significant time on the field and how he does. Now that DiMarco has been signed to the active roster, maybe we will see nice production out of him as well. Heck lets even get Vaughn in there and give him a few runs to see what he can do.
All in all, now is about as good of a time as any for this to happen, and I think we are the type of team who can overcome this, and maybe even have some pleasant surprises by the time it's over. I think we are all still concerned about the offensive line, as there's just not a lot of depth there, but last week they showed that they can do a decent job of scheming for those issues. We go from 3 sacks in week one against what was thought to be a very poor defense, to only 1 sack in week two against a very strong pass rush from the Rams. Lets all relax a little and see how things unfold. Personally, I am excited to see who we have waiting to step up and take on a starting role.
So tell me what you guys think. Agree, disagree, great write up, horrible write up and you should never write again. Lets hear it!