If you take away only one fact from this post, let it be this: Todd McClure is back to practicing.
We don’t have an official injury report just yet, but we do know a few things. Unless McClure suffers a setback, it sounds like our canny veteran veteran will be anchoring the middle of the line again against the Buccaneers.
While Joe Hawley has done reasonably well for a second-year center starting against two of the tougher teams in the NFC, McClure is a rock. Having him in the middle should stabilize the line as a whole, and hopefully cut down on the number of defenders who streak into the backfield and disassemble Matt Ryan.
Corey Peters is participating fully in practice, which is also a relief. Pairing him with Peria Jerry gives the team a formidable duo, even without Jonathan Babineaux.
Now the bad news. Babineaux is still out and will be for at least another week. Kelvin Hayden also didn’t practice. I know he was dinged up a bit against the Eagles, but the next couple of injury reports will tell us how serious it is. If he’s down for Sunday’s tilt against the Bucs, I imagine Chris Owens will start at the nickel.
In other injury news, Ryan was limited with a knee injury in Wednesday’s practice. This will be one to keep an eye on, but I can’t imagine he’ll miss the game unless the knee gets considerably worse. Mike Smith basically chalked it up to resting his quarterback.
Joining Ryan in the limited practice category are Roddy White and Ray Edwards. Again, I can’t imagine either will miss the game, but this early in the week guys are given the chance to rest if they’re banged up. Thursday and Friday will tell us more.