Mike Smith has all but declared that Devin Hester will play Sunday against the Bears, but with two straight missed practices, he and fellow receiver Harry Douglas can't be considered locks to go.
Harry Douglas (foot) and Devin Hester (hamstring) non-participants again in practice Thursday. #CHIvsATL
— Jay Adams (@FalconsJAdams) October 9, 2014
Douglas is the least likely of the two. When he was practicing following his ugly injury against Tampa Bay, I was encouraged enough to believe that he might even return against the Vikings. Clearly that was a false hope, and Douglas is now in his third week of being, if we're candid, doubtful to play. I don't know when he'll return to the field, but it may not be until after the team's bye week.
Hester's a different story. These are the Chicago Bears he's facing, a team that he spent most of his career with and now clearly desires to burn to the ground via multiple touchdowns. If there's any hope of him suiting up, he's going to do it, but the Falcons are being cautious enough by holding him out of practice twice that I think we have to consider the slim possibility he either misses this game or only plays sparingly. I do think the team will have to lock him in a closet to keep him off the turf, when all's said and done.
Kemal Ishmael, Julio Jones, Jake Matthews and Prince Shembo were all limited for the second time this week. Matthews' ankle injury makes me a little nervous, but I do expect all four to suit up on Sunday against the Bears.