The Atlanta Falcons announced their injury report today for their Week Three road matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, upon which running back Tevin Coleman (ribs) joined wide receiver Devin Hester (toe) and linebacker Brooks Reed (groin) as those players listed as out and unable to play. Neither Coleman nor Hester practiced this week.
Coleman suffered his rib injury in the second quarter of last week’s win over the New York Giants. Reports earlier this week indicated there is no exact timetable for when Coleman will return and it will depend on his pain threshold. The AJC reported that Coleman could miss two to four weeks due a cracked rib and an earlier return would likely require injections to try and reduce the pain. In Coleman’s absence the Falcons will turn to Devonta Freeman, who entered the summer expected to be the team’s starting running back, but lost the battle to Coleman due to missing much of the summer with a hamstring injury.
Initial reports on Hester’s turf toe injury hoped that he could make his return this week, but his inability to practice this week means he’ll be forced to sit out at least one more game. In Hester’s absence, the Falcons have turned to Eric Weems as their primary kickoff and punt returner through the first two games and will likely do so for a third week in a row.
Reed made a triumphant return to practice on Thursday, three weeks removed from surgery on his groin that was expected to keep him out for the first six weeks of the season. Reed practiced in a limited capacity earlier today as well. There is optimism that Reed could wind up playing against his former team, the Houston Texans, next week. Last week, the Falcons replaced Reed at strong-side linebacker with Nate Stupar, who performed ably in that role.
Also appearing on the Falcons’ injury report were defensive end Kroy Biermann (non-injury related), linebacker Justin Durant (foot), defensive end Malliciah Goodman (elbow), wide receiver Julio Jones (hamstring), defensvie tackle Paul Soliai (knee) and linebacker Paul Worrilow (calf). All of them were listed as probable to play this weekend.
Biermann missed Wednesday’s practice, but was a full participant on Thursday and Friday. The latter can also be said of Durant and Worrilow, who were both limited on Wednesday with their respective injuries which caused them to miss parts of the Giants game. Goodman, Jones and Soliai all were limited on Wednesday and Thursday, but fully participated in today’s practice. Goodman missed last week’s game against the Giants.
As for the Cowboys’ injury report, wide receiver Dez Bryant (foot) and defensive ends Randy Gregory (ankle) and Jeremy Mincey (concussion) were listed as out for this week’s matchup.
Guard Ronald Leary (groin) was listed as questionable, practicing on a limited basis on Thursday and Friday. He missed last week’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. If he misses this week’s Falcons matchup, the Cowboys will likely platoon Mackenzy Bernadeau and La’el Collins as they did a week ago at Leary’s vacant left guard position.
Tight end James Hanna (knee), linebacker Kyle Wilber (hamstring), tight end Jason Witten (ankle, knee), and defensive end Ryan Russell (groin) were all listed as probable. Hanna missed last week’s game against the Eagles and adds value as a reserve blocker. Witten was on crutches earlier this week, but was able to fully participate in today’s practice.
Missing from the report is quarterback Tony Romo, who was placed on the team’s short-term injured reserve earlier this week with a broken collarbone. Romo now won’t be eligible to return to the field until Week 11. In his stead, backup quarterback Brandon Weeden will start for the Cowboys. The team also promoted Kellen Moore from their practice squad to the roster this week and acquired Matt Cassel via trade from the Buffalo Bills to shore up depth at the quarterback position.