It was all but a formality, but Dan Quinn has ruled out both Vic Beasley and Courtney Upshaw for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions, leaving the Falcons thinner and less capable along their defensive line.
The good news is that Atlanta can still bring the likes of Takkarist McKinley, Brooks Reed, Adrian Clayborn, and Derrick Shelby to pressure the quarterback from defensive end, giving them options and some genuine ability. Jack Crawford, Clayborn and Shelby can also play defensive tackle in Upshaw’s stead, which means the Falcons should be able to weather the storm for this week, at least. It’s just obviously a significant downgrade to the pass rush not to have Beasley there, and Upshaw is a useful piece of the rotation, as well.
Quinn already ruled out Vic Beasley (hamstring) and Courtney Upshaw (ankle) for Lions game so they won't practice.— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) September 20, 2017
The team is going to have to figure out a way to get pressure on Matthew Stafford, who has been dinking and dunking his way to victory through the first two weeks thanks to plenty of time in the pocket. McKinley, who has been quietly terrific his first two weeks, figures to be the man likeliest to step up in Beasley’s stead.
In other injury news, Ryan Schraeder missed practice and is in the league’s concussion protocol, and it would be a minor miracle if he was able to suit up and take the field on Sunday. Ty Sambrailo will start if/when Schraeder is out and will hopefully be able to turn in a performance at least as good as he mustered against Green Bay, while a now-healthy Austin Pasztor serves as the swing tackle.
Stay tuned for updates on Schraeder, but for now, I’d go ahead and assume all three of these players are out. Hopefully it won’t dampen the chances of a Falcons win against the Lions.