Do you want the good news or the bad news first? Aw, hell, let's just do both.
#Falcons RB Tevin Coleman, FS Ricardo Allen to return against Redskins. Allen to start. https://t.co/RaAeBa14ea— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) October 9, 2015
Dan Quinn on LB Justin Durant (elbow), who will miss Sunday's game, ``Saw the doc against yesterday. Making progress, but not ready yet.''— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) October 9, 2015
Durant's absence will undeniably hurt, even if the Falcons managed fine without him against the Texans. He's a quality run stopper and good athlete who you could count on to fly all over the field, and with Washington having a better offense than Houston and a much better ground game, the Falcons will miss him. Expect Brooks Reed and Paul Worrilow to start, with Joplo Bartu, O'Brien Schofield and maybe Kroy Biermann earning some snaps in Durant's place.
The good news is that both Allen and Coleman are back. Allen returns to his starting job, kicking Robenson Therezie back to a backup and special teams role, and his aggressive play and physical style will be welcome against the Redskins. With any luck he'll re-join the team with a turnover or two, because we're greedy folks here.
We have to temper our enthusiasm for Coleman's return primarily because we don't know what kind of role he's returning to. I expect him to get 5-10 touches in relief of Devonta Freeman this week, and if he's healthy enough to make an impact, he should further boost an already dynamic Falcons ground game. His breakaway speed could be a factor this week against a pretty stout Washington run defense, too.
Bottom line: We'll miss Durant, but Coleman and Allen should be able to help out considerably, and the Falcons remain favorites in this one.