The Atlanta Falcons announced earlier today that wide receiver Harry Douglas will miss this weekend’s matchup against the Chicago Bears with a foot injury he suffered three weeks ago. Douglas hasn’t practiced since the Friday prior to the team’s Week 4 contest against the Minnesota Vikings, and at that point in time was listed as questionable. Douglas suffered a foot injury during the course of the team’s blowout win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3, and fully participated in practice the following week until being limited on the Friday before the Vikings game. Since then, he has yet to participate in any practice, presumably due to a setback suffered in his recovery.
Also on the team’s injury report, guard Justin Blalock (back) and wide receiver Devin Hester (hamstring) were listed as questionable. Blalock suffered a back injury against the Vikings and missed last week’s contest against the New York Giants. He was able to participate on a limited basis in practice this week. Hester missed the first two days of practice, but was limited in today’s practice leading to his questionable status.
If Blalock is unable to go, the Falcons will likely turn to Harland Gunn or James Stone at left guard as they did a week ago. However, Gunn played poorly last week, which could prompt the team to move right tackle Gabe Carimi inside to left guard, and start Ryan Schraeder at right tackle.
If Hester is unable to play, then it will likely lead to increased reps for Eric Weems alongside Julio Jones and Roddy White on offense, and also could mean the team also gives reps to Freddie Martino, who was promoted from the practice squad earlier this week. Weems is listed on the team’s depth chart as the top backup at either returner spot, duties Hester handles regularly. But the team also has experienced returners in Jacquizz Rodgers, Robert McClain and Javier Arenas.
Safety Kemal Ishmael (ankle), wide receiver Julio Jones (ankle), offensive tackle Jake Matthews (ankle) and linebacker Prince Shembo (knee) were also listed on the injury report as probable to play on Sunday. All four players were able to fully participate in Friday’s practice after being limited on both Wednesday and Thursday.
For the Bears, notable injuries include linebacker Lance Briggs (ribs), tackle Jermon Bushrod (knee/ankle), safety Ahmad Dixon (hamstring) and linebacker Shea McClellin (hand) who are all listed as out this weekend. Linebacker Jon Bostic (back) and cornerback Sherrick McManis (quadricep) are questionable. Bostic did not practice at all this week, while McManis was limited on Wednesday and Thursday, but sat for today’s practice. Safety Chris Conte (concussion), center Roberto Garza (ankle), defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (concussion) and linebacker D.J. Williams (neck) were all listed as probable. All were full participants in Friday’s practice.