The Atlanta Falcons announced their injury report for Week Two’s road matchup against the New York Giants today, indicating that wide receiver Julio Jones (hamstring) is expected to play, but also ruling out defensive end Malliciah Goodman (elbow). Jones did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but returned to full participation earlier today in practice, earning the distinction of being probable for this Sunday’s game. Goodman missed the entire week of practice after suffering his arm injury in the team’s season-opening win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Joining Goodman as players that won’t play this weekend are wide receiver Devin Hester (turf toe) and linebacker Brooks Reed (groin). Both players missed the season opener, but their absences were expected this week. The hope is that Hester will return next week against the Dallas Cowboys, while Reed is roughly a month from returning from his groin injury that he had surgery on earlier this month.
Defensive tackle Adrian Clayborn (thumb), offensive tackle Jake Matthews (back), safety William Moore (illness) and defensive end O’Brien Schofield (hip) all fully participated in Friday’s practice and were listed as probable. Both Clayborn and Matthews returned fully to practice on Thursday after being limited on Wednesday. Moore was added to the injury report yesterday after missing practice due to an illness. Schofield missed Wednesday’s practice, but returned on a limited basis on Thursday.
With Goodman out of the lineup, the Falcons will have to shuffle their defensvie line rotation somewhat. Goodman performed as the team’s LEO in their base defense against the Eagles, a role that is likely to be turned over to rookie Vic Beasley. Beasley performed that same role throughout the preseason but was relegated mostly to nickel sub-package in the season opener. The Falcons are likelier to deploy a lot more base defense against the Giants this week than they did against the Eagles.
Eric Weems replaced Hester as the return man in the season opener and is likely to do so again this week. The team might turn to Nick Williams however, since he was the primary reserve behind Hester this past summer.
Kroy Biermann is likely to continue to work as the team’s strong-side linebacker with Reed out of the lineup. He struggled in Week One, which opens up the possibility that the Falcons may mix Schofield into the mix more there given that he should have less opportunities to rush the quarterback with less nickel situations.
For the Giants, notably middle linebacker Jon Beason (knee) was listed as doubtful, meaning that his replacement is still likely to be Uani’ Unga, who was listed as probable on the injury report with a knee injury. Unga was limited in Wednesday’s practice due to that injury. Beason was able to practice on a limited basis this week, but expectations are that if he does play on Sunday against the Falcons, it will be on a very limited basis.
Wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf), tight end Daniel Fells (foot), defensive tackle Marcus Kuhn (knee) and defensive end Owa Odighizuwa (foot) were all listed as out. None of them practiced this week.
Also probable includes offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (ankle). He was able to fully participate in Thursday and Friday practices.