The Falcons are set to kick off the 2013 season against the Saints on Sunday, and they'll do so with several players that found themselves injured during the preseason.
Wide receiver Roddy White (ankle), kicker Matt Bryant (back), linebacker Stephen Nicholas (leg) and Asante Samuel (thigh) all missed part of the preseason because of their injuries but will be back at it for the season opener.
"We've continued to have the guys work, and they're working well," head coach Mike Smith said Monday. "We're looking forward to having everybody available on Sunday against New Orleans."
PHOTOS: View Images from Monday's Practice The fact that White, Bryant, Samuel and Nicholas are all able to start the season healthy is crucially important for the team. Smith stressed that although winning games is the No. 1 goal in the preseason, keeping players healthy is right behind that.
Now that the season opener is just six days away, the team plans to push a little harder while still being cautious to avoid any potential injuries.
"This week, it's game-on now. Now it's time to go," Smith said. "We have a very good understanding of how hard it is to win in the NFL, and we have to have everybody focused on the task at hand. And most importantly, we have to have as many guys as we can possibly can be as healthy as they can for that opening game."