The Falcons held a short but spirited practice in Flowery Branch Christmas Day without running back Michael Turner.
The Pro Bowler also missed Wednesday and Thursday’s practice as he attempted to rehab from an aggravated ankle injury. He’s listed as “questionable” for Sunday’s game against the Bills but Head Coach Mike Smith hinted earlier in the week that he wasn’t sure if Turner — though a fast healer — could be ready to go in Week 16.
It would be a shame if the dynamic runner had to sit against the league’s 32nd-ranked rush defense but injuries are something Falcons fans have grown used to in this season that, while poised for winning-season success, didn’t live up to playoff expectations.
If Turner is unable to go for the fourth time in the last seven games, Jason Snelling and Jerious Norwood will be called upon to continue their support of the run game.
Either way, the Falcons have statistical advantages over the Bills in a game that could help build the perfect post-holiday gift for fans: Back-to-back winning seasons.
Gonzalez closing in on 1,000 career catches, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Two times in my career I’ve felt like I was in the presence of true, lasting NFL greatness: Jerry Rice’s brief time with the Broncos and any time this year interviewing or watching Tony Gonzalez.
NFC South draft rewind, ESPN.com
What better time than the holidays to look back at all the draft-day gifts and how they’ve panned out. Unfortunately the Falcons must wait another year to truly judge the success of the 2009 Draft class.
Out of the playoffs, the Falcons still can take a giant step, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
I have a confession to make. I didn’t believe it when @FalconsDLevak told me on my first day the Falcons had never had back-to-back winning seasons. Really. Just didn’t make sense…
Matt Ryan, Mike Turner miss practice, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Smith made it a point earlier in the week to say Ryan didn’t suffer any setbacks in his recovery from turf toe. His time away from practice is to allow extra rest.
Ryan’s Decline: Explained, Extinguished, The Falcoholic
Anyone who pays more attention to stats than wins (hence Ryan’s game-winning drive in Week 15), well, I don’t know what to tell you.
Fan Appreciation Day Sunday at the Dome, AF.com
Unfortunately, members of the media are not eligible for prizes.
If CB Chris Houston Returns Against Bills, Who Rides The Bench?, The Falcoholic
Houston is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game.
Ex-Bill Wire gives scouting report on his old team, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Coy Wire played in many games for the Bills. I’m sure he is just as loved in Buffalo as he is in Atlanta.
Brohm set to start at quarterback for Bills, The Buffalo News
The last time the Falcons faced a quarterback with similar lack of starting experience was against the Chiefs Tyler Thigpen last year. Result? Just 128 passing yards allowed and three interceptions.
Pass game to take flight vs. Falcons?, BuffaloBills.com
This could be a confidence builder for the Falcons pass offense… If they play well.