The Falcons are less healthy than they’ve been all season heading into this upcoming game against the Rams, which doesn’t bode particularly well. They’re lucky it’s the Rams they’re facing.
We still have a handful of players in limbo for this one, including Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, and Jake Matthews. The team has indicated that they anticipate having Matthews back for the weekend, potentially, which would be a massive boost considering how badly Tom Compton struggled on the blind side when he entered the game last week. Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu are not sure things.
The optimism over Julio is encouraging, but I was really hoping he might get the chance to rest, considering turf toe is not a fun injury to deal with. Getting him in the game would of course mean that he would attract a ton of defensive attention even if he’s not 100%, creating opportunities for everyone else as he so often does.
Sanu seems less likely to play. The team’s #2 receiver has been awfully useful as a receiver and blocker, especially over the last several games, and the Falcons will miss him if he’s out. Justin Hardy would be the man most likely to see an increased role with Sanu out, though of course you’d expect to see a few more opportunities in the passing game for the always explosive Taylor Gabriel.
We’re going to have to wait and see, though. The worst case scenario would involve all three of these guys missing the game, leaving Ryan without his trusty blindside protector and two of his top options in the passing game, and forcing Atlanta to lean pretty heavily on the run and short, quick passes. It may be enough to beat the Rams, but let’s not find out the hard way.