Falcons missing 3 injured starters for game against Lions

FILE - In this Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, file photo, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws a pass against the Atlanta Falcons during the first of an NFL football game in Atlanta. Injuries that could leave the Packers without several key players may help the Cincinnati’s chances of digging out from an 0-2 start. But, two-time NFL MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers represents the great equalizer, capable of winning any game regardless of the circumstances. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) The Atlanta Falcons will be without three starters Sunday when they face the Detroit Lions in a matchup of unbeaten teams.

Linebacker Vic Beasley Jr., right tackle Ryan Schraeder and defensive lineman Courtney Upshaw were all ruled out Friday by the Falcons (2-0).

None of them participated in practice this week after being injured in a 34-23 victory over the Green Bay Packers.

Beasley, last year’s NFL sack leader, hobbled off the field with an ailing hamstring and had already been ruled out of Sunday’s game by coach Dan Quinn, who hasn’t put a timetable on his return.

Schraeder went out with a concussion on Atlanta’s first offensive series. Upshaw is slowed by a sore knee and ankle.

The loss of Beasley is especially critical with the Falcons going against the Lions (2-0) and quarterback Matthew Stafford. First-round pick Takkarist McKinley will fill take over the pass-rushing spot.

Schraeder’s injury is another blow given the lack of depth on the offensive line. Recently acquired Ty Sambrailo will continue to fill in at right tackle.

With Upshaw not available, the Falcons promoted defensive tackle Joe Vellano from the practice squad and waived cornerback Deji Olatoye.

Vellano played last season in the NFC championship game and the Super Bowl.

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