Falcons' White to sit Sunday, snapping 133-game streak
The Atlanta Falcons ruled out wide receiver Roddy White for Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay, meaning the four-time Pro Bowler will miss the first game of his career, ending the sixth-longest active streak among non-kickers.
White had played in 133 straight games, but a season-long right ankle injury, combined with a left hamstring malady, will keep him out against the Buccaneers.
The active consecutive-game leaders include: London Fletcher (245), Reggie Wayne (188), Jason Witten (161), Eli Manning (141) and DeMarcus Ware (134), who's own streak may fall this weekend, due to injury.
Besieged by injuries this season, the Falcons also ruled out starting left tackle Sam Baker (knee), tailback Steven Jackson (hamstring) for the fourth straight game and reserve tight end Chase Coffman (knee).
Prior to ruling out White, the Falcons waived safety Shann Schillinger, most likely to sign a wide receiver off their practice squad. Their options are James Rodgers, the brother of Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers, and Darius Johnson, an undrafted rookie free agent out of SMU who impressed during training camp.
With Julio Jones (season-ending foot injury) and White both out, the Falcons have only four wide receivers for Sunday: Harry Douglas, who will move up to No. 1, Drew Davis, Kevin Cone and Brian Robiskie, whom the Falcons signed last week off the street. Davis and Cone have five combined career catches for a total of 52 yards.
Three games under .500 for the first time in head coach Mike Smith's Atlanta tenure (six seasons), the Falcons (1-4) are coming off the bye week and attempting to turn around their season against winless Tampa Bay (0-6).
Hobbled by a high-ankle sprain from the preseason, White has been measurably less effective than his usual self. He has 14 catches for 129 yards — often a single-game total in previous years — and zero touchdowns.
In hindsight, White said he shouldn't have rushed back from injury (Week 1 against the Saints), which would have allowed more time to rest the sore ankle.
Come Sunday, the Falcons will have four backups starting on offense. It had seemed as if Jackson would have been healthy after the bye week, but his hamstring soreness persists. Jackson has not practiced since getting injured on Sept. 15 — off a touchdown reception against the Rams, his former club.
Smith originally thought Jackson would miss two or three weeks.
Asked about Jackson this week, Smith said, "Steven is working hard to get back out on the field. As soon as he gets cleared by the doctors, we’ll get him back out here. It's a hamstring that has been tough to come back from at this point in time."