Atlanta Falcons  

 

Smith: Falcons will decide on ailing QB Ryan 'closer to game time'

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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Matt Ryan missed his sixth consecutive practice Friday, but Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith listed his quarterback as questionable for this weekend's NFC South showdown with the undefeated New Orleans Saints.

The 2008 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, sidelined since the first quarter of the Falcons' 20-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers two weeks ago, is nursing an injured toe.

"Matt worked again this morning in our walk-through," Smith said. "He continued to progress, and we're going to make a decision as we get closer to game time."

Chris Redman again would start for the Falcons if Ryan can't play.

Pro Bowl running back Michael Turner, who missed last weekend's 34-7 home loss to the Philadelphia Eagles with an injured ankle, was limited in practice and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game. Four other offensive starters -- Pro Bowl wide receiver Roddy White (knee) left tackle Sam Baker (elbow), center Todd McClure (knee) and right guard Harvey Dahl (ankle) -- also are questionable.

NFL.com's Steve Wyche reported Wednesday that the availability of Dahl and Baker could be the final factor in the Falcons (6-6) determining if Ryan suits up against the Saints (12-0), according to a team source. The Falcons don’t want to put a wounded, immobile Ryan under center with backups at key offensive line positions.

Rookie cornerback Christopher Owens (shoulder) was listed as probable. The Falcons expect Owens will start on the left side opposite right cornerback Brent Grimes, who's filling in for starter Chris Houston. Smith has ruled out Houston (hamstring) and tight end Justin Peelle (concussion).

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Defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, who was arrested Thursday night in Gwinnett County and charged with felony possession of marijuana, is listed as questionable because of a shoulder injury.

Babineaux was limited in practice, and Smith said he has yet to decide if the fifth-year veteran will be allowed to play against the Saints.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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