I just got the list of inactives and the headliners for the Falcons are running back Jerious Norwood (hip) and fullback Ovie Mughelli (calf). I don't think those are hugely surprising considering that neither practiced all week and that Norwood was listed as doubtful on Friday and Mughelli was listed as questionable. This will be Mughelli's second straight game out after getting injured against San Francisco. This is Norwood's second game out of the season. He missed the New England game with a concussion.
That means that a heavy load with fall to third-year running back Jason Snelling, who can play both tailback and fullback. At fullback, expect to see Verron Haynes again.
Snelling has been one of the nice surprises of the Falcons' season thus far. He has 54 yards rushing on 12 carries (4.5 yards-per-carry average) and has caught 10 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown. Offensive Coordinator Mike Mularkey was effusive in his praise of Snelling on Friday.
"He's a really good football player, I mean really good football player," Mularkey said. "He does a lot of things for us. They all do, but he has the ability to step in there and in San Francisco [after Mughelli got hurt] and for us not go, 'We can't call this play or that play.' He adjusted. Did he run them all exactly? No, because he doesn't practice them, but he did it well enough to get us going into the game and even in scheming on Tuesdays, he made us still feel comfortable that he can do it if we need to. Verron's been a big help being here and being in the system. Jason just has it all, he's a good player."
He added this about Snelling when asked about Snelling's ability in the screen game: "Good screen, yes. Does it all. Protection, third down back. Smart. Everything."
So there it is, the Falcons will need him today.
Other inactives are John Parker Wilson (third quarterback), safety William Moore (hamstring), safety Antoine Harris (knee), offensive linemen Garrett Reynolds and Quinn Ojinnaka and defensive tackle Vance Walker.