1. Injury Updates: The Falcons kicked off their practice week Wednesday without Julio Jones!(/team/roster/julio-jones/3fa3dd5e-0294-4d80-add9-68e47289bf80/ "Julio Jones") (hip), Roddy White (knee), Harry Douglas (foot), William Moore (foot) and Jon Asamoah (back). As for Jones' availability this week and for Sunday's game in New Orleans, Falcons head coach Mike Smith offered the following statement:
"We'll make a decision at 10:30 on Sunday morning when we put in our inactive list and that will be the last time I'm going to talk about Julio (this week)," Smith said.
2. Ryan Disregards Saints' Trash Talk:Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan showcased another example of why he's nicknamed "Matty Ice", doing so before practice began Wednesday. Ryan was asked for his response to the trash-talk quote from New Orleans Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis.
"It doesn't matter," Ryan said. "At the end of the day, what matters is what you do between 1-4 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, and if you're worrying about any other stuff that's going on at this point, you're wasting your time. Let's focus on what's important.''
The Atlanta Falcons are hard at work this week with their focus on beating the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Take a look at the photos from Wednesday's practice.
3. Jackson's Goal-Line Mindset: The Saints-Falcons historic rivalry is known for the tough battles regardless of the game's location. Sunday's Week 16 clash may be no different. If the game comes down to the remaining seconds and the Falcons are on the 1-yard line, needing six points for the win, workhorse running back Steven Jackson said he'll be ready with the following mindset: "Don't allow just one guy to bring me down," Jackson said. "A lot depends on how aggressive I can be downhill. If it's a play to the outside, I can't be as aggressive as if I was running a power play, but the definite mindset through and through is not letting one man bring me down."
4. Elimination-Game Approach: Fifth-year veteran defensive tackle Corey Peters has been involved in eight rivalry games against the Saints, likely none more important than Sunday's must-win contest in the Mercedes Benz Superdome.
"It's somewhat of an elimination game basically, and that's the approach we're taking," Peters said. "We want to try our best to stay as clean as possible, play between the whistles, but we're not going to back down from anybody, and whatever happens after that happens."
5. Allen Now Awaits Opportunity: One day after being elevated to the team's 53-man active roster, Falcons cornerback Ricardo Allen addressed the media Wednesday, describing his season-long preparation that led to his promotion.
"I've just been working as if I was on the 53-man roster every day," Allen said. "I've been working like the rest of the starters, trying to be the best that I can be to go out and do whatever I can to help the team."