In an attempt to mimic last year's strategy, the Falcons are letting their wide receivers get hurt before they even start playing in 2014. Atlanta placed Drew Davis on the training camp physically unable to perform list after the 25-year-old receiver underwent a procedure on his foot.
The details are vague at this point, exactly how the Falcons like to play it. The report from Jay Adams pegs Davis to miss about six weeks.
"Drew felt some discomfort in his foot at the end of minicamp," said Head Coach Mike Smith. "We decided to send him to the doctors for some evaluations and it was determined he had suffered an injury that would require a procedure. He recently had the procedure done and we expect him to miss around six weeks, which is why we have decided to place him on Training Camp PUP."
That timetable puts Davis' return in middle-to-late August. While Davis isn't much of a difference maker in the passing game, his biggest role is on special teams. He finished second on the team in special teams tackles last year. His absence creates the opportunity for other wide receivers to step up.
Davis has been in the mix for the No. 4 or 5 wide receiver on the depth chart. He played 352 snaps in 2013 and caught a career-high 12 passes. This is a contract year for Davis, so the injury is even more concerning for his long-term chances.
Darius Johnson is the main beneficiary of Davis missing time. The youngster gained some attention last season when the receiving corps was depleted. Courtney Roby and the UDFAs can battle for expanded roles as well.
It's a tough blow for Davis. The Falcons depth chart takes a steep drop after Douglas on the depth chart. Do you think any of the younger receivers can seize the opportunity in camp to stand out? Special teams skills will be closely monitored.