The Falcons could use a win to reverse the two-game slide that has put us all in dour moods, but they may need to do so without Devin Hester and Justin Blalock. For the third straight week, Harry Douglas is out:
#Falcons WR Harry Douglas is out for Sunday, according to Mike Smith.— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) October 10, 2014
The team's passing attack has scuffled a little bit with Douglas sidelined, mostly because it removes one of Matt Ryan's options and has a domino effect on everyone else. At home and facing a Bears secondary that is good but not great, the team should be fine so long as they have Hester to help pick up the slack.
Hester, for his part, is likely going to play. It'll be difficult for the team to keep him off the field unless he's missing one of his legs, but they may need to limit his snaps to get effective play out of him, given that he's dealing with a leg injury. Look for the running backs—including even Antone Smith, by golly—to get more involved in the passing game if the Falcons are down Douglas and dealing with a limited Hester.
Justin Blalock strikes me as truly 50/50. If he can't go, it's likely Harland Gunn will draw his second consecutive start, and hopefully in this one he'll be better in pass protection than he was against the Giants. Getting Blalock back would significantly improve the line's fortunes and make Matt Ryan's job easier, so let's hope for that outcome.