Steven Jackson and Roddy White Absent from Practice; LB Akeem Dent Returns


Jan 20, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (56) and middle linebacker Akeem Dent (52) react after San Francisco 49ers kicker David Akers (not pictured) misses a 38-yard field goal against the Atlanta Falcons during the third quarter of the NFC Championship game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

There was a glimmer of hope for the Falcons on the injury front after practice on Thursday, but unfortunately, it wasn’t one of the “high-profile” players that returned to practice.

As reported by D. Orlando Ledbetter above, the Falcons were without Steven Jackson and Roddy White (again) during Thursday’s practice, and the absences extended to guys like Sam Baker and Chase Coffman, as well. Jackson and White are the headline absences, however, and it certainly seems as if the status of each player grows uglier by the day.

The positive news came in the form of linebacker Akeem Dent, who returned to the field after missing last week’s loss to the Jets. This is certainly an addition to an otherwise banged-up defense, and Dent is suddenly looking like a high-impact option with guys like Sean Weatherspoon and Kroy Biermann on the shelf.

On the prospects of Jackson and White, the information seems to be mounting in the negative category. The AJC quoted head coach Mike Smith as referring to Jackson’s injury as a “short-term” one, but he hasn’t seen the field in weeks, and it would be a pretty big leap to go from “absentee” to “starting running back in the NFL” in a 3-day period. White is similar in that ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that he could miss this week, almost a week ago, and with no change in his status, that conjecture may be true.

Friday is a huge day in evaluating the ongoing injury situation, and we’ll bring you an update when it presents itself. Stay tuned.