Roddy White was held out of practice this week with an ankle injury, but head coach Mike Smith feels confident that White can and will take the field against Arizona on Sunday, per Smith's comments to the media following Friday's practice. ESPN's Vaughn McClure asked Smith about the basis for his confidence in White's ability to play without practicing. "Roddy studies the game and understands how people are going to try to defend him, and he's been in this league for over 10 years," Smith said. "We've done it multiple times last season in terms of him not being able to get out on the practice field."
But if you'll remember, 2013 was not a successful season for the Falcons, and White struggled to get to full speed and truly contribute as he dealt with the lingering effects of a high ankle sprain suffered in preseason action and a subsequent hamstring injury. White did play plenty in 2013 after being held out of practice, but he didn't have more than 50 receiving yards in a game until week 13 of the 2013 season.
White has been a reliable target for Matt Ryan so far this season, and it's easy to understand why, as the Falcons seek to retain their grip on the division this week, the Falcons want Roddy White to be ready and available regardless of his injury status. Whether or not White will be effective remains to be seen.
For what it's worth, Smith said that the team did receive good reports from the training staff in terms of Roddy's status on Friday. "He did work with our [athletic performance] people today and got good reports on where he was in terms of moving around. I feel confident still that he'll play on Sunday," Smith said.
White has missed one game due to injury this season. He was held out of the 56-14 rout of Tampa Bay with a hamstring injury. The Falcons did just fine without him that week.
Do you think Roddy White will play on Sunday?