Atlanta Falcons: Injuries Piling Up for Sunday’s Game vs. 49ers


The Atlanta Falcons enter Sunday’s matchup with the San Francisco 49ers trying to rebound from last week’s disappointing 23-20 overtime loss at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

With the team struggling over the past three weeks, it’s imperative that the Atlanta Falcons get an important victory on the road to get back into the win column and to keep pace in the NFC South race. Dan Quinn’s team will enter Sunday’s game in Santa Clara, California banged up, though.

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The Atlanta Falcons’ injuries are starting to pile up. On Friday, Atlanta Falcons’ beat writer Vaughn McClure reported that some of team’s most important players will not dress on Sunday:

McClure added that wide receiver Leonard Hankerson is also ruled out for Sunday’s game against San Francisco. The loss of these players on Sunday, especially on defense, will make it especially challenging against a 49ers team hungry for a win amidst a disappointing season. 

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Robert Alford, William Moore and Justin Durant are all starters on an improving Atlanta Falcons’ defense. Without their presence on the field on Sunday, it is difficult to predict how the Falcons’ defense will play — especially after a lackluster showing last week against Tampa Bay. Leonard Hankerson, another addition this offseason to provide depth on offense, is one of Matt Ryan‘s favorite targets. Without Hankerson in the lineup, expect rookie receiver Justin Hardy to receive targets on Sunday.

McClure also updated the statuses of some players dealing with some nagging injuries for Sunday’s contest, and all of them are important for the Atlanta Falcons’ success:

Desmond Trufant has dealt with a back injury over the past week, but expects to play on Sunday. Trufant has asserted himself as one of the better young corners in the league this season. Even with Blaine Gabbert starting at quarterback over Kolin Kaepernick for the San Francisco 49ers, Trufant’s presence on the field helps solidify a hurting Atlanta Falcons’ defense. In the case of Vic Beasley, a lack of a young and speedy pash rusher diminishes the Falcons’ ability to get to the quarterback.

Nick Williams has become a secret weapon for the Atlanta Falcons offense, as the speedy receiver has shown that he is fully capable of being an impact player at the professional level. The Atlanta Falcons’ offensive line has struggled of late, and Mike Person too has had difficulty returning from injury a few weeks ago. On Sunday against Tampa Bay, Person had difficulty snapping the ball to Matt Ryan, leading many to believe that Ryan’s struggles are a product of Person’s miscues.

Next: Matt Ryan: Is Poor Play from Center Hurting Offense?

Still though, the Atlanta Falcons have a great shot at pulling off a road win, despite a multitude of injuries on both sides of the ball. Hopefully Dan Quinn’s replacements will play adequately in order to secure an important win for Atlanta on Sunday.