It’s important to take a look at the Atlanta Falcons injury report today to look at what players will or won’t be in the game on Monday Night. Here is the list of players, and their participation in Saturday’s practices:
RT Tyson Clabo (hip) limited participation Game Status: Questionable
LB Robert James (knee) full participation Game Status: probably
LB Sean Weatherspoon (hamstring) limited participation Game Status: Questionable
WR Roddy White (groin) full participation Game Status: Questionable
The players that are listed, with the exception of James, are very key and high profile players. In order for this offense to reach 100% efficiency, we need to have Roddy catching passes, and most importantly we need Tyson Clabo blocking. Sean Weatherspoon is also very important to what we want and are trying to do on defense, and missing his presence against the Broncos would be a big hit.
The key is ‘would’. I know that in the Piedmont Healthcare Injury Report the term ‘questionable’ means that there is a 50% chance the player will play in the upcoming game. But let’s be honest here; we would all be absolutely shocked if those players who had limited participation in practice actually missed the game. Roddy won’t miss the game. Robert James won’t miss the game. Sean Weatherspoon won’t miss the game. Tyson Clabo won’t. This game is just too big, and these guys did still get practice reps. If they were held completely out of practice, that would be a problem. Limited participation is less than 100% of a player’s normal practice reps. If a player took three plays off, that would be less than 100%, and make them eligible for the ‘limited participation’ tag.
More than anything else, I think the injury report is a tool of gamesmanship by coaches. I remember a couple years back, when Tom Brady was setting records all over the place, Bill Belichick listed Tom Brady as ‘questionable’ every single week. None of the players on the Falcons injury report are on Brady’s level of play, but you get the general idea that I’m proposing here.
These injuries would be extremely serious if they were listed as ‘doubtful’ or ‘did not participate’ in practice. But since the did practice, and are only listed as questionable, I wouldn’t read too much into it. I would expect these players to all play in the Monday Night Football game against the Broncos.