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Takkarist McKinley injury: Defensive end, Derrick Shelby are day-to-day

Dan Quinn says he hopes both can play this weekend, which is a major relief.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons won’t have to start Steven Means after all!

That’s the big takeaway from Dan Quinn’s comments on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta this morning, where he discussed Andy Levitre’s trip to injured reserve and injuries to both Takkarist McKinley and Derrick Shelby. The Falcons’ leading sack artist (tied with Brian Poole) and his backup appear to be day-to-day, and while that connotation has been a kiss of death this year, DQ expressed some optimism about them playing the Saints this Sunday.

My guess is that you won’t see both—this season has rarely been that kind to us—but having Takk in particular ready to suit up against the Saints would be a huge deal. The Falcons need to get some pressure on Drew Brees—though typically they’re more successful up the middle in that regard—and Takk is one of their more essential defensive lineman in that regard. It’d be nice to have Shelby, too, but Means should be a decent enough fill-in for him for one week if it comes to that.

If these guys truly only miss a week, or even no time at all, it’ll be a rare bit of good fortune early in this ridiculous season. Let’s hope we get a lot more of that good luck going forward.