During the team’s 23-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, there was clearly something wrong with Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White. Leading up to the game, ESPN’s Adam Schefter (among others) famously doubted whether White would take the field, and while he did play throughout the game, he was visibly limited.
There is now some clarity in the situation, as White offered up several quotes shedding some light on the severity of his ankle injury. White admitted to having a high ankle sprain in post-game, and said this to the AJC:
“Yeah. It’s hard to cut. It’s hard to do just about everything at the position. No excuses. When you go out there, you try to win.”
The part about “no excuses” certainly sounds like Roddy White to me, as the receiver played in his 129th straight game on Sunday. However, he also told the AJC that it would maybe be a “few more weeks” before he was back to normal, and the fact that he’s been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain usually brings a 4-to-6 week timetable. It’s frankly amazing that White was able to suit up and play, and his public assertion that he was supposed to be on a snap count illustrates that even further.
With all of that said, this Atlanta offense isn’t the same if White can only produce 80% explosion in route to 2 catches for 19 yards. Julio Jones (and subsequently, Matt Ryan) will be infinitely more effective if White is at full speed to take some of the attention away, and it is never easy to replace a guy who has caught 80+ balls for 1,100+ yards in each of the last six seasons. Though Ryan didn’t visibly struggle on Sunday, the Saints pass defense is more susceptible than most (to be kind) to the passing game, and White’s limitations could be more apparent moving forward.
This “new” diagnosis isn’t exactly inspiring, but if there’s a guy on the Falcons who can play through this type of injury, it’s the “iron man” in White. If there are any updates on his condition prior to Sunday, we will pass them along in this space, but until then, I would expect to see #84 on the field for the team’s home opener.