Atlanta Falcons: Is Roddy White’s health a concern?


Lost behind the drama of ‘Deflate Gate’, the Atlanta Falcons are continuing their rebuilding efforts. With that, there are many questions—and the health of Roddy White has raised possibly the biggest of them all.

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Fixed as a go to receiver, White has been a focal point to this offense for many years. He was really the only option before the Julio Jones arrived.

But has age caught up with the team leader, and if it has, how much is left in the tank?

At the beginning of last week, a report surfaced that said Roddy White was having his knee drained. If serious, this could be one of the biggest offseason blows imaginable. In fact, the only players it would hurt to lose more would be Matt Ryan and Jones.

A cause for concern has been raised, and it is a legitimate one.

It is easy for the former UAB star to be an afterthought behind Jones, but every team is breathing a sign of relief after this news because they know how White affects the game far more than just the catches and touchdowns. His blocking and the attention he demands open every other playmaker on the offensive side.

Some may say that the Falcons could ride the hype of Justin Hardy who appears better than expected in the early days of camp, but the unproven ECU standout cannot shoulder the weight of White’s production just yet.

And if anyone expects him to be something like what Roddy has become to this offense is fooling themselves as Hardy will only be productive if White and Julio can open the holes for him and allow him to grow into the potential that he has.

Sep 28, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White (84) catches a pass during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Falcons 41-28. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Therefore, any version less than a fully healthy Roddy White will set this offense back a few steps and limit its effectiveness because of what he does away from the ball.

So, if the Falcons have a limping Roddy White this year, what can we expect to see from the high flying offense?

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With a new offensive playbook that is more balanced than previous years, it will allow the offense to be functional, but Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman must step up.

This will open the seams for Jones, Leonard Hankerson, and Hardy who will find their opportunities dwindled by the absence of White, who is still a shell of himself and out of his prime.

If White can fully recover, the machine that is the Falcons offense will continue to run effectively, but if he misses time, this well oiled machine could hit a roadblock.

If the Atlanta Falcons can find a way to keep their All-Pro on the field, the sky is the limit. But at this point, it is safe to be concerned about how this offense will function without him.

Next: Atlanta Falcons preseason guide: What to look out for