In the afterglow of a much needed victory on Sunday, Falcons head coach Mike Smith brought some additional positive news in Monday’s press conference in the form of a good report on star running back Steven Jackson.
#Falcons coach Mike Smith said RB Steven Jackson is set to return to practice.
— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@AJCFalcons) October 21, 2013
It’s important to note that Smith didn’t specify that Jackson would be in uniform for Sunday’s game against Arizona, but Smith’s reference to Jackson returning when the team takes the field on Wednesday is quite positive. There was a high-profile report on Sunday, from FOX’s Jay Glazer, that Jackson had suffered a “setback”, but Smith seems optimistic on Jackson’s return.
The presence of an explosive and dynamic runner like Jackson would be huge for the Atlanta offense. While Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling have filled in admirably, they couldn’t muster even the slightest hint of a running game against Tampa Bay on Sunday, and Jackson brings a different element as a pure ball-carrier than Rodgers (who is more of a change-of-pace back and receiving option) or Snelling (who is a pure “hammer” who even plays some fullback). The league hasn’t gotten a full look at Jackson in a Falcons uniform (Week 1 was his only full action), and Matt Ryan could use the help right now.
Keep an eye on practice reports as they surface later in the week, but all signs point to a potential return for Jackson in Arizona.