Falcons RB Norwood healthier, hoping to play vs. Giants

Jerious Norwood practiced Friday for the second consecutive day and could stabilize the Atlanta Falcons' running back situation for this weekend's game against the New York Giants on Sunday.

Norwood missed Atlanta's last four games because a hip flexor injury and is listed as questionable for the game in New York. Pro Bowl running back Michael Turner, who's sidelined with a high ankle sprain, isn't expected to play after he missed practice all week and offically is listed as doubtful.

"I've been working pretty much every day this week trying to get the (hip) back to normal," Norwood said. "The main thing is it gets tight a lot. As long as I get it loose, it feels pretty good."

Though Norwood is unlikely to start, the four-year NFL veteran has spent most of his career as a backup to Turner and the retired Warrick Dunn. Norwood, who ran the fastest 40-yard dash among all players at the 2005 NFL Combine, is considered one of the league's fastest players when healthy.

Atlanta drafted Norwood out of Mississippi State in the third round of the 2006 draft. The following year, Norwood's first three career touchdowns covered at least 60 yards.

Norwood began this season with a career average of 6.6 yards per play and nine touchdowns in a combined 373 rushing attempts and receptions. He ranks third in franchise history with 2,948 kickoff-return yards, but the Falcons are using Eric Weems in that role this year.

Norwood's injured hip during a Week 6 victory over the Chicago Bears followed a concussion that caused him to miss a Week 3 loss to the New England Patriots.

"It's been hard, man," Norwood said. "I see them guys on the field working hard every day. I just love the game of football and want to be out there with them and compete, man."

Atlanta, which has lost three of its last four games, needs Norwood's speed to balance a power running game that will feature Jason Snelling in Turner's place. Snelling, a third-year backup, has gained 222 total yards and scored one touchdown on 30 carries and receptions this season.

The Falcons listed Pro Bowl wide receiver Roddy White, who has never missed a game in his five-year career, as questionable with a sprained knee. Left tackle Sam Baker, who was sidelined for last week's loss to the Carolina Panthers, is probable with an ankle injury.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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