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Thu. Aug 28, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Martino caught one ball for 67 yards in Thursday's preseason finale.
Impact: Martino's lone target went for a 67-yard score, but at a crowded position, it might be too little, too late for the wide receiver.
Thu. Aug 28, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Yates completed 15-of-20 passes for 342 yards and two touchdowns against the Jaguars in the preseason finale Thursday.
Impact: Yates looked good, but most NFL quarterbacks should do well against second-team players. He's the Falcons' clear-cut number two quarterback behind Matt Ryan.
Thu. Aug 28, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Jackson (hamstring) didn't play in Thursday's preseason finale against the Jaguars, the Associated Press reports.
Impact: Though Jackson, who is bouncing back from a hamstring injury, was in uniform for the game, he didn't play. The same applies to key Falcons such as Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Julio Jones and Harry Douglas. We'll follow Jackson's status in practice next week, but the veteran back is thought to be on track to be available to the team in Week 1.
Thu. Aug 28, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Freeman had 42 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries and 45 yards on five reception (five targets) in Thursday's preseason finale against the Jaguars.
Impact: Freeman finished his impressive preseason on a high note while working as the Falcons' primary running back after the first quarter. That he played into the fourth quarter isn't a bad thing, as the Falcons presumably just wanted to get an extended look at their promising rookie. Jacquizz Rodgers started Thursday's game and will likely enter Week 1 as Steven Jackson's (hamstring) top backup, but both Freeman and Antone Smith could push for touches. With Rodgers largely unimpressive to this point in his career, it wouldn't be surprising if Freeman eventually emerges as the top backup to the aging and somewhat injury-prone Jackson. Should Jackson suffer a setback before Week 1, the Falcons would likely use some combination of Rodgers, Freeman and Smith, rather than heavily leaning on Rodgers.
Thu. Aug 28, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Rodgers had two yards on two carries in Thursday's preseason finale against the Jaguars.
Impact: Once again starting in place of Steven Jackson (hamstring), Rodgers only played a few snaps before giving way to Antone Smith and Devonta Freeman. While still likely to enter Week 1 as Jackson's top backup, Rodgers has plenty of competition for touches, and would likely split the workload in the event of a serious injury to Jackson, who appears to be on track for Week 1.
Thu. Aug 28, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Though he didn't gain any yards on his four carries, Smith had two receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown in Thursday's preseason finale against the Jaguars.
Impact: Smith took a screen pass 66 yards to the house, breaking a pair of tackles along the way. The Falcons' backup running back situation is rather crowded, as all of Smith, Jacquizz Rodgers and Devonta Freeman got playing time with the first-team offense this preseason. While all of the hype has surrounded Freeman, it was Rodgers who started every preseason game. Should Steven Jackson (hamstring) suffer a setback before Week 1, or suffer another injury down the road, the Falcons might have roles for all three of Rodgers, Smith and Freeman. Realistically, Smith is only worth a look in deeper leagues, as Rodgers is the safest handcuff, while Freeman arguably has the most upside of the trio.
Thu. Aug 28, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Jackson (hamstring) is in uniform for Thursday's preseason finale against the Jaguars.
Impact: It remains to be seen how much, if any, action Jackson sees Thursday, but that fact that he's in uniform after having returned to practice this week is a positive indicator with regard to his potential Week 1 status.
Tue. Aug 26, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Biermann (Achilles) tallied one tackle against the Titans on Saturday.
Impact: Biermann appeared hesitant to go all out at times, and it doesn't look like he's completely comfortable with his surgically-repaired Achilles tendon. He'll likely get some work in Thursday's preseason finale, and he's still expected to start at defensive end, but he could lose playing time if the injury doesn't let him go all out for the full 60 minutes.
Mon. Aug 25, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Jackson (hamstring) returned to practice Monday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Impact: Jackson has been sidelined since injuring his right hamstring on July 29. However, following an increase in his rehab work last week, the veteran running back was finally able to rejoin his teammates for the final week of preseason practice. Although Falcons coach Mike Smith hasn't ruled Jackson out for Thursday's last exhibition outing, it wouldn't be surprising if the 31-year-old took advantage of another rest opportunity. No matter, Jackson figures to be ready by Atlanta's Week 1 opener, which could result in him sharing touches with Jacquizz Rodgers and rookie Devonta Freeman out of the Falcons' backfield.
Mon. Aug 25, 2014 | STATS
News: Jackson is back on the practice fields for the first time in almost a month, providing hope the Atlanta Falcons' starting running back can be ready for the season opener.
Impact: Jackson had not practiced since July 28, when he hurt his right hamstring. On the following day, coach Mike Smith said the injury wasn't serious and Jackson would be ready for the Sept. 7 opener against New Orleans.
Aug 24, 2014 | RotoWire
News: White caught three balls on four targets for 34 yards in Saturday's preseason game against the Titans.
Impact: White will likely sit out the final preseason game Thursday, and it appears he'll enter the 2014 regular season with a clean bill of health. Injuries riddled his 2013 campaign, but White should be in line for a huge season, if he can stay healthy. He'll lose targets to Julio Jones at times, but he'll also get the benefit of working against fewer double teams.
Aug 24, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Renfree completed 5-of-7 passes for 59 yards in Saturday's preseason game.
Impact: Renfree appears to have done enough to hang on as a No. 3 backup to Matt Ryan, but final cuts still loom.
Aug 24, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Hester caught four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's preseason win over the Titans.
Impact: Hester opened the scoring by taking a slant 31 yards for a touchdown. Hester had five targets on the day and certainly looked like he belonged out with the starters. It's clear Julio Jones and Roddy White are the starters, but Hester is quietly attempting to supplant Harry Douglas as the slot receiver. He's worth a flyer late in your draft, especially since Hester will factor into special teams.
Sun. Aug 24, 2014 | STATS
News: Johnson will miss another season after going down with a foot injury.
Impact: The Falcons placed Johnson on injured reserve Sunday as they reduced their roster to 75 players. He missed the 2013 season after breaking his left leg and dislocating his left ankle in a training camp practice. He was hurt again Saturday night in a preseason game against Tennessee.
Aug 24, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Toilolo was not targeted in Saturday's preseason loss to the Titans, but he remains a starter heading into the fourth preseason game.
Impact: It will be interesting to see what role Toilolo plays in the offense as the regular season gets underway. He won't match the production of Tony Gonzalez, but Atlanta is clearly a pass-first team. If teams focus too closely on Julio Jones and Roddy White, Toilolo could enjoy a solid amount of targets, but there are a lot of variables at this point.
Aug 24, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Ishmael tallied nine total tackles in Saturday's preseason loss to the Titans.
Impact: Ishmael had a solid game against the Titans, and it appears that he'll start the season backing up William Moore. However, as a late roster addition, who signed in May, nothing is guaranteed.
Aug 24, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Douglas caught two balls on two targets for 23 yards in Saturday's preseason loss to the Titans.
Impact: It's uncertain whether or not Douglas will suit up for the final preseason game, but he's had a quiet preseason through three games. Devin Hester played well and scored a touchdown against the Titans, but it seems likely that Douglas will still get the majority of the work in the slot. Hester has the potential to cut into Douglas' ceiling, but that was already limited with the presence of Julio Jones and Roddy White.
Sat. Aug 23, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Smith gained four yards on four carries in Saturday's preseason game against the Titans
Impact: Smith and Devonta Freeman both got some playing time with the first-team offense, but Jacquizz Rodgers started and dominated the first-half touches. While the competition has mostly centered around Rodgers and Freeman, Smith could have some kind of role in the offense if Steven Jackson (hamstring) doesn't make it back for Week 1.
Sat. Aug 23, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Freeman had 11 yards on four carries and 33 yards on four receptions in Saturday's preseason game against the Titans.
Impact: Jacquizz Rodgers started and took most of the first-team touches, but both Freeman and Antone Smith were worked in with the starters. While Rodgers still figures to enter the season as Steven Jackson's (hamstring) top backup, Freeman has looked good during the preseason and could push for that role. Jackson is expected to be ready for Week 1, but if that doesn't come to fruition, it isn't entirely clear how the workload will be divided.
Sat. Aug 23, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Rodgers had 33 yards on eight carries and 31 yards on five receptions in Saturday's preseason game against the Titans.
Impact: Once again starting in place of Steven Jackson (hamstring), Rodgers dominated the first-half touches, despite ceding first-team snaps to both Antone Smith and Devonta Freeman. While still the clear favorite to open the season as Jackson's top backup, Rodgers may have Freeman breathing down his neck. The Falcons expect Jackson to be ready for Week 1, but the 31-year-old veteran has a history of hamstring injuries, and isn't a good bet to play 16 games.
Sat. Aug 23, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Jones (foot) caught two passes for 63 yards and a touchdown on five targets in Saturday's preseason game against the Titans.
Impact: Jones looked like his usual self, as he turned a short pass into a 52-yard touchdown, breaking one tackle and spinning out of another. He's been managed cautiously over the last few months, and the plan seems to be working out. Jones is now practicing every day after working every other day for much of training camp.
Thu. Aug 21, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Weems signed with the Falcons on Thursday.
Impact: Weems began his NFL career with four seasons as a Falcon, for whom he made the Pro Bowl as a special teams member in 2011. Now, with wideout Drew Davis (foot) destined for the PUP list to begin this season, Weems will have an opportunity make Atlanta's team once again.
Thu. Aug 21, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Davis (foot) is slated to begin this season on the PUP list, ESPN.com reports.
Impact: Davis underwent foot surgery in June and was initially expected to miss six weeks, but his timetable has since changed. The wideout will now miss Atlanta's first six games while continuing his recovery. In light of injuries to the Falcons' wide receivers last season, Davis made three starts and made 12 catches for 216 yards and two touchdowns. Now, his absence opens an opportunity for speedster Bernard Reedy to make the Falcons' roster.
Wed. Aug 20, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Coach Mike Smith expects Jackson (hamstring) to be ready for the Falcons' regular season opener, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Impact: Meanwhile, Jackson did some work off to the side Wednesday, but at this stage, there is still no timetable for the running back's return to practice, despite continued optimism with regard to his Week 1 status.
Wed. Aug 20, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Motta (neck) will begin the regular season on the physically unable to perform list, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Impact: Motta started training camp on the physically unable to perform list, and it appears that his injury hasn't progressed as much as the team had hoped. He underwent an operation back in December to repair a fractured C4 vertebrae in his neck, but his recovery timetable was projected to be 4-6 weeks. Something is clearly still up with his neck, and the Falcons will have to do without his services for the first six weeks of the regular season.
Tue. Aug 19, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Jones (foot) will have his workload increased, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Impact: Jones, who continues to work back from foot surgery, will begin practicing every day. The Falcons have been holding him out of consecutive practices, but coach Mike Smith wants Jones to be ready to carry a heavy workload during the regular season. "It's important to have all of our guys ready to [go] that are going to play 60 snaps," Smith said. "That's not possible if you're not practicing every day. You're going to see over the next 10 days a change in who's practicing."
Mon. Aug 18, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Jackson (hamstring) worked out on the side during Monday's practice, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Impact: While prospective owners would no doubt like to see Jackson get back into the practice groove sooner rather than later, in an article posted Monday projecting the Falcons' 53-man roster to start the season, ESPN.com suggested encouragingly that Jackson appears almost ready to return from his hamstring injury.
Mon. Aug 18, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Matthews worked in the Falcons' left tackle slot during Monday's practice, ESPN.com reports.
Impact: With the Falcons having lost Sam Baker to a season-ending patellar tendon tear, Matthews -- the sixth overall pick in May's draft -- appears in line to serve as the team's starting left tackle, while Lamar Holmes figures to man the top right tackle spot, previously held by Matthews.
Mon. Aug 18, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Peters (Achilles) returned to practice Monday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Impact: Peters is coming off Achilles' surgery, which forced him to Atlanta's PUP list to begin this preseason. Following a career-best five sacks in 15 starts last season, he once again figures to factor into the Falcons' defensive line rotation, although his playing time could be impacted by the additions of Tyson Jackson and Paul Soliai this offseason. Nonetheless, Peters will hope to be ready for the regular season and should play a significant role on a beefed-up Falcons front line.
Aug 17, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Lowery racked up two solo tackles in Saturday's preseason game against the Texans.
Impact: Lowery suffered a concussion in early August, but he appears to be back to full health. He's in a battle with rookie Dezmen Southward to earn the starting free safety role, so he has to be happy his concussion symptoms didn't linger.
Aug 17, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Angerer tallied five tackles in limited work in Saturday's preseason contest against the Texans.
Impact: Angerer had been dealing with a concussion he suffered earlier in training camp, but he appears to have passed all the necessary protocols. He isn't expected to beat Paul Worrilow or Joplo Bartu out for a starting role, but he'll likely see some rotational work if he stays healthy.
Aug 17, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Baker, who suffered a torn patella tendon during Saturday's preseason game, will miss the entire upcoming season, the Falcons' official website reports.
Impact: Baker went down during Atlanta's fourth offensive series, after suffering the same injury he endured in his other knee four games into the regular season last year. With him out again, rookie first-rounder Jake Matthews is expected to slide over to start at left tackle.
Aug 17, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Douglas did not catch any passes in Saturday's preseason game against the Texans.
Impact: No matter, Douglas is locked in as the No. 3 wide receiver, following a career year in 2013. With Roddy White and Julio Jones (foot) both on track to suit up for Week 1, Douglas has practically no chance of matching his 2013 numbers, unless one of the two starters suffers a long-term injury. However, Douglas could see more work in the No. 3 role than he did in past seasons, thanks to Tony Gonzalez's decision to retire.
Aug 17, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Baker suffered a torn patella tendon during Saturday's preseason game and will likely miss the entire upcoming season, NFL.com reports.
Impact: Baker went down in the second quarter of Saturday's game and appeared to be in significant pain. Given the extent of his injury, Baker is a near certainty to miss the upcoming campaign. As a result, the Falcons are expected to accelerate the process of shifting rookie first-rounder Jake Matthews to left tackle, where he'll be tasked with protecting quarterback Matt Ryan's blindside.
Sat. Aug 16, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Jones (foot) caught two passes for 20 yards on four targets in his 2014 preseason debut Saturday against the Texans.
Impact: Jones has taken it easy in practice, but he's on track to be ready for Week 1. He caught two of Matt Ryan's three completions in Saturday's game, and was targeted a team-high four times. More importantly, Jones played until the other starters came out, showing no signs of injury.
Sat. Aug 16, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Freeman gained 31 yards on six carries and 11 yards on one reception in Saturday's preseason game against the Texans.
Impact: Though he's been used behind both players, Freeman has outperformed Jacquizz Rodgers and Antone Smith through two preseason games. Between Steven Jackson's (hamstring) age/injury history and Rodgers' poor track record, Freeman could have a role in the Atlanta offense early in the season, even though he's currently listed fourth on the depth chart.
Sat. Aug 16, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Rodgers gained 13 yards on three carries in Saturday's preseason game against the Texans.
Impact: Rodgers started in place of Steven Jackson (hamstring) for a second straight week, while Antone Smith filled in with the starters, and Devonta Freeman didn't register a touch until the final three minutes of the first half. Though he's fourth on the depth chart, Freeman could emerge as a threat to Rodgers' touches this season. If Jackson's injury unexpectedly lingers into the regular season, Rodgers will likely split the workload with Smith and/or Freeman, the latter of whom has been the most impressive of the bunch this preseason.
Sat. Aug 16, 2014 | STATS
News: Baker was ruled out for the year after injuring his right knee in a preseason game.
Impact: The Falcons said the injury plagued Baker sustained a torn patellar tendon in a 32-7 loss to the Houston Texans on Saturday night. First-round pick Jake Matthews could move from right to left tackle to replace Baker, but the injury is a huge blow to Atlanta's efforts to bolster a line that was one of the league's worst a year ago.
Sat. Aug 16, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Baker left Saturday night's game against the Texans with a right knee injury, ESPN.com reports.
Impact: Baker, who was carted off the field in the second quarter of the contest, was replaced in the game by Lamar Holmes. The report notes that Baker was in obvious pain after suffering the injury, so it looks like the Falcons' left tackle is probably going to miss some time.
Sat. Aug 16, 2014 | RotoWire
News: The Bears cut Weems on Saturday.
Impact: Weems signed a three-year deal with the Bears prior to the 2012 season, catching just three passes for 35 yards since then. He also failed to make an impact as a returner, returning just 18 kickoffs for 288 yards. Unless he convinces a team that he can regain his form as the high level kick and punt returner he was in Atlanta in 2010, Weems might struggle to find work.
Fri. Aug 15, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Weems didn't see a target in the passing game during Thursday's preseason game against the Jaguars.
Impact: With Marquess Wilson likely to miss the first few weeks with a broken collarbone, Weems is among the group of receivers who could be counted upon to replace his production. Free agent signing Josh Morgan appears to be the likeliest candidate to see work in three-receiver sets, but Weems will still have a great chance at clinching a roster spot due to his prowess on special teams coverage units.
Thu. Aug 14, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Jones (foot) expects to play in Saturday's preseason game against the Texans, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
Impact: Jones still has yet to practice on consecutive days in training camp following foot surgery last October, but he seems intent on returning to action Saturday against Houston. The team will have the final say, however, and Jones will likely only play one series if he does suit up, but seeing him on the field would provide at least some reassurance as to his health heading into the regular season.
Thu. Aug 14, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Carimi (ankle) participated in agility drills in lieu of a full practice Thursday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Impact: Carimi injured his ankle in a practice against the Titans on August 4. It sounds like he's making some progress, but he's trying to earn a spot on the roster as a backup lineman, so his chances of sticking around fall the longer he remains on the sidelines.
Thu. Aug 14, 2014 | RotoWire
News: White was given the day off Thursday, so his absence was nothing more than an extra day of rest for veteran wideout, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Impact: White suffered through a slew of injuries during his 2013 campaign, so the Falcons want to do everything in their power to ensure he enters this season with a clean bill of health. He is expected to play Saturday in Atlanta's second preseason game.
Thu. Aug 14, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Jones (foot) was held out of practice Thursday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Impact: This is nothing out of ordinary for Jones, who has been on a day-on, day-off schedule since camp began. The Falcons haven't announced whether or not Jones will be on the field Saturday for Atlanta's second preseason game, but based on the cautious approach the team is taking with young wideout, it wouldn't be surprising to see him sit the game out.
Thu. Aug 14, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Jackson (left hamstring) worked off to the side during Thursday's practice, doing agility drills under the supervision of the Falcons' training staff, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Impact: While it seems safe to assume that Jackson won't play Saturday against the Texans, it's encouraging to see him progress, albeit incrementally. The expectation is that the veteran back should be ready in advance of Week 1.
Sat. Aug 9, 2014 | STATS
News: Matthews' first live NFL action gives Atlanta coach Mike Smith reason to think the No. 6 overall draft pick has potential to become an elite player.
Impact: Matthews, the team's starting right tackle, graded out well in his professional debut as the Falcons beat Miami 16-10 to win the exhibition opener for both teams. He could be a stud at right tackle in terms of pancake blocks.