Ahead of a big rematch against the red-hot New Orleans Saints, the Atlanta Falcons started practice with six starters operating in a limited capacity.
Among those limited are wide receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley as well as starting running back Todd Gurley. Both Jones and Gurley missed the Falcons' win against the Las Vegas Raiders, but their availability could prove to be the difference on Sunday. Also limited on Wednesday were kicker Younghoe Koo, defensive end Dante Fowler and tight end Hayden Hurst.
Here is the Falcons' injury report from Wednesday:
|FB Keith Smith||Knee||Full participation|
|WR Calvin Ridley||Foot/Ankle||Limited participation|
|DE Dante Fowler||Hamstring||Limited participation|
|WR Julio Jones||Hamstring||Limited participation|
|RB Todd Gurley||Knee||Limited participation|
|TE Hayden Hurst||Ankle||Limited participation|
|K Younghoe Koo||Right quad||Limited participation|
|CB Kendall Sheffield||Illness||Did not participate|
|G James Carpenter||Groin||Did not participate|
What it means
Although the Falcons didn't need Jones and Gurley to throttle the Raiders, it wouldn't hurt to have them back for this rematch. Atlanta's offense struggled to get going against New Orleans in the first meeting, and Jones's absence for much of the game played into that. The Falcons' defense is emerging and has proved it can win games for Atlanta, but it might need all hands on deck this weekend for both sides of the ball.