Good, and expected news: Ryan Schraeder and Terron Ward should be back in action this Sunday against the Bills. Good, and very unexpected news: Vic Beasley might be back, too.
That’s if you buy Dan Quinn’s assertion that Beasley is “close” to a return, which he said on 92.9 The Game this morning. For an injury that was initially reported to be a partial hamstring tear that could cost him a month, that would be remarkable.
For what it’s worth, I don’t quite trust Dan Quinn here. I think Vic Beasley will practice, but I’d be very surprised if he’s actually back in action with a hamstring ailment and a bye week coming up. Chances are good he’ll be back against the Dolphins in Week 6, though, if he’s making this kind of progress. Takkarist McKinley and Adrian Clayborn should continue to effectively start at end in his absence.
Getting back Schraeder will be particularly vital for a Falcons offense that had some trouble protecting Matt Ryan with Ty Sambrailo on the right side, particularly during the early going of the Lions game. The offense should be working at close to full capacity, though Julio Jones could be a little limited by injury. They’ll need to be good to work against a very underrated Bills defense, but fortunately, they are good.
Finally, without Ricardo Allen—and I’m assuming he won’t play—the Bills will probably try to go after Damontae Kazee a bit. The ballhawking rookie hasn’t had a ton of exposure yet on defense, so I legitimately do not know what to expect from his first NFL start, but I’m still very high on his long-term potential. I hope he can ball out with Allen out.
We’ll keep an eye out to see if Beasley really is returning later this week, but that’s at least encouraging news.