Injury bug has hit Falcons early in camp

New Falcons receiverr Marty Booker is a former Pro Bowler.

New Falcons receiver Marty Booker is a former Pro Bowler.

THE BRANCH The injury bug is in the air.

One of the keys to the Falcons success last season was the lack of major injuries.

Just a few days into camp and Harry Douglas is done for the season and second round pick William Moore is out for a month.

The big battle to replace Lawyer Milloy is practically over before it got started. Go ahead and pencil Thomas DeCoud as the default winner. Moore will have to catch up when he comes back and show his

Robert Ferguson is noted for his downfield blocking. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Robert Ferguson is noted for his downfield blocking. (Curtis COMPTON/AJC)

stuff on special teams.

The Falcons were the fifth-best team in terms of man-games missed by their starters last season, according to the Football Outsiders Almanac 2009.

Wide receiver Brian Finneran, who missed two seasons with a similar injury to Douglas, knew it was trouble when he saw Douglas go down.

“The way he went down, it was a bad feeling,” Finneran said. “It was a tough, tough deal there.”

FERGIE, FERGE and BOOKER: Wide receivers Robert Ferguson and Marty Booker have had their moments in the NFL, but have never reached major stardom.

Robert Ferguson is a former Green Bay Packer. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

Robert Ferguson is a former Green Bay Packer. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

The Packers had high hopes for Ferguson when he was selected in the second round (41st) overall in 2001. He showed flashes there, but never had the breakout season. He’s more noted for his downfield field blocking.

Now Booker, 33, was a third round pick of the Chicago Bears in 1999. He went to the Pro Bowl in 2002 when he had 97 catches for 1,189 yards and six touchdowns. He has more than 500 receptions despite that he’s played most of his career in quarterback-challenged offenses.

RODDY’S WORLD: Been trying to get some exact numbers on the rife in the White negotiations. Folks generally don’t go on the record with that info, but the rife is wide enough that the sides have dug in.

This one could get much uglier in the coming weeks.

The Falcons have some nice leverage in that White is under contract and growing up in Charleston, he’s been a longtime fan of the team. White will have to stay emotionally detached.

The Falcons know that $2.28 million is low for their Pro Bowl receiver. But how high do you go? Do you do a long-term deal and wrap him up? Do you do a short-swing deal like Arizona did with Larry Fitzgerald and Green Bay with Greg Jennings? Maybe if the Falcons would have moved faster to extend White, they could have set the market and instead of letting Green Bay beat them to the punch on the Jennings deal.

Stay tuned . . . .

Lineman drills at practice.

Linemen drills at practice. (Photo by D. O. Ledbetter)

LATE ROUND PICKS: Some of the Falcons late round picks are already making some noise in training camp. Last season, some of them – like Kroy Biermann – struggled early before coming on.

Defensive end Vance Walker (seventh round), tackle Garrett Reynolds (fifth round) and defensive end Lawrence Sidbury (fourth) have all drawn some praise from Coach Mike Smith.

WILDCATS VISIT: The Duluth High Wildcats football team visited practice on Wednesday evening.

69 comments Add your comment

Matty ICE

August 7th, 2009
9:26 am

What are the odds that Roddy will hold out all year?

chc4

August 7th, 2009
9:39 am

I thougt Moore was out 1-4 weeks. Why are you saying it’s a month now? Did his condition worsen since yesterday?

Hooff Hearted

August 7th, 2009
10:23 am

Think we can trade Roddy for D. Dowe at KC?

honest_abe

August 7th, 2009
10:32 am

i think 4 weeks = a month.

the douglas injury was the big hit. i don’t think you could’ve counted on moore to step in as a rookie and start at safety. the falcons need to sign another wr. someone that can actually play. i still think an old and aging marvin harrison is better than the stiffs we just signed. no?

TheManMike

August 7th, 2009
10:33 am

Isn’t 4 weeks a month?…..just sayin……

KC

August 7th, 2009
10:34 am

Chances of Roddy missing an entire season: 0%
Chances of Roddy missing more than 2 preseason games: 0%
——
This is postering right now. I understand both sides (unless Roddy wants Larry Fitz money). Roddy doesn’t have much leverage and has to holdout as long as possible. If he shows up, he might as well bend over and for the KY because he will get screwed. His only hope is that the union extends the CBA. If we hit the uncapped 2010 year, he will be stuck (and p*ssed off) for 2 more years with the Falcons having even more leverage.

TheManMike

August 7th, 2009
10:36 am

Marty Booker has great hands from what i’ve seen over the years. As DOL mentioned, he has been with lackluster QB’s – but with those hands, maybe he could be a threat again – at least for a year.

William Moore is a crap situation. I loved the Safety battle, though i know Decoud was the incumbent, Moore is a beast. We’ll see what happens there.

I think the signings of the new receivers simply ups the tempo for the rookie WR’s and may light a fire under Roddy to get back – If Tony G is willing to leave his longtime home, why wouldn’t another great player?……Think Roddy…….Think…..

Saint Simons Lover

August 7th, 2009
10:39 am

You would think Harrison would be better than them. I bet he would be no worse.

REALITY calling...

August 7th, 2009
10:46 am

…for Roddy White on line 1. As the late, great Fred G. Sanford would say “YOU BIG DUMMY!” (That shout out goes to Roddy White and his “agent” (lol) Feinsod! POUND SAND!!!!!

Rick

August 7th, 2009
10:47 am

ummm…most months have 4 weeks

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 7th, 2009
10:50 am

Coach told us 1 to 4 weeks and then upgraded it to 2 to 4 weeks. So I guess “up to a month” would have been the best. Yes, on most calendars that I’ve seen, four weeks = a month. Got to get out the field. Looking forward to the scrimmage.

I’m hoping to see a Peria Jerry and Harvey Dahl matchup in the trenches.

Mike

August 7th, 2009
10:51 am

Roddy White needs to get his greedy butt to camp, and Mr. Ledbetter needs to look up the definition for the word rife.

D. Orlando Bedwetter

August 7th, 2009
10:57 am

Strife? Is that the word you’re looking for, bedwetter? That bow-tie may make you LOOK intelligent……

TheManMike

August 7th, 2009
10:58 am

I just saw a few interviews from Smitty and read a few articles around the web stating that our Dline was getting pushed around this morning. I feel conflicted. For one – HELL YES to the OLine guys, keep it rolling. HELL NO to the Dliners….they need to step it up out there. I realize we are just starting camp, but what we are seeing is the start of some ferocious scrimmage. Friday night lights will be a sight.

I’m already starting to get annoyed at the sound of “Roddy White”…..I would just think he would realize this is his final year of contract and this would be the year to not only show the Falcons what he has, but the show the NFL what he has. If he kicks ass this season, he’ll be looking at big upgrades to pay whether he’s here or elsewhere. But always put Team first…..That is the ONLY true tested way of making it to the big show……..Playing ball for money is sad, you play ball to fill that void in you – the money should be a perk. what has the sporting world come to….?

Braindawg

August 7th, 2009
11:02 am

I saw Dimitroff on sports talk this morning and when asked about Marvin Harrison, he said that they never even considered signing him.

Spud Webb

August 7th, 2009
11:06 am

Roddy pulling the jamal anderson, wonderful. GREAT job roddy, you’re making over 2 million this season in this economy????????? Get your &ss in there. He’s going to come in and get hurt too, ruining the mo the falcons have going on. SELFISH…look at dmitroffs history with the patriots, where he learned. HE WILL NOT CAVE IN. Roddy, if you’re smart you’ll get in and get to work or he will ship to seattle or detriot or some sad sack town to play. you’ll get you’re money, get in and play.

Spud Webb

August 7th, 2009
11:06 am

I think Marvin is done, frail comes to mind.

chc4

August 7th, 2009
11:07 am

Can you people read? It says Moore will miss ONE to FOUR weeks. Yet the headline says he’s out a month. He could be out 10 days. Misleading.

Braindawg

August 7th, 2009
11:08 am

Do we even have a speedy deep threat now?

TheManMike

August 7th, 2009
11:10 am

Jerious Norwood is speedy…….

Top 10 Roddy White comments overheard in AL

August 7th, 2009
11:11 am

10. I knew I shouldn’t have listened to Mark Bradley and held out.
9. It’s Ok…I know it will work….it worked the last time.
8. They can’t hold out on me much longer…now that my Harry D is limp
7. Pretty soon my phones gon’ be ringin’…i just know it
6. Thanks alot , Mike … for the career advice!
5. I’ll stay on top of my game by watching some film – Jerry McGuire
4. Well,now, at least me and Michael can spend more time together
3. My agent says I can still go the the Arena league, if they wanna play hardball.
2. HEY, Feinsod! I thought you said I was better than Fitzgerald?!!!

1. Dayummm!!! This Thomas Dimitroff ain’t no Rich McKay !!!

TheManMike

August 7th, 2009
11:19 am

If Aaron Kelly can produce like he did in these clips (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vnwloFpAJM&NR=1) and can learn the playbook – He has the height and the hands……..Just a thought.

Big AL

August 7th, 2009
11:25 am

The team should come first Roddy, You are already a millionare. Be patient, honor your current contract, and the more money will come. This season is getting off to a bad start.

midnite

August 7th, 2009
11:33 am

Is William Moore having that knee scoped?

Look, a unicorn

August 7th, 2009
11:38 am

Morons, I mean Mike and the bed wetter-

Typos can be a real nose picker, can’t they?

I got you, DOL, it was rift.

AH

August 7th, 2009
11:38 am

not that you ever want to have injuries but I’d rather have them in the first week of training camp so that there is more time to get some more players in here or someone else has time to step up their game.

cutter

August 7th, 2009
11:47 am

chc4- Gee Weez guy if they say up to 4 weeks, just so you know, you should not expect to see him at 100% for 4 weeks. If he comes back earlier then fine but If someone says I’ll be home in one to four weeks be prepared not to see them for four weeks instead of saying ok they will be home in 10 days.

SC

August 7th, 2009
11:56 am

No, he intended ‘rift’, not ’strife’. Look at the context. It was a honest typo.

Take care when trying to be a cheap shot artist – you may unintentionally reveal your own stupidity ….

VSUNick

August 7th, 2009
11:57 am

If I was talking with Roddy White I would footage of him dropping that game-winning pass against Denver plugged right next to Randy Moss’ game winning shoestring catch from the same week. If he wants Fitzgerald or Moss money you got to make Fitzgerald or Moss type plays. He has some spectacular catches, but he is not clutch. Still can’t believe he was listed as Fourth Most indispensable guy in the league. He might not make my top 4 on the Falcons.

midnite

August 7th, 2009
12:02 pm

D-Led whats up with Curtis Lofton? I saw that on your twitter.

E Ft. Lauderdale Aluminummediocre

August 7th, 2009
12:10 pm

D-Orl – Nice writing, man. Nice to see that peeps like SC got your back.

Roddy will make it to camp eventually. I mean, if he doesn’t it just goes to show that he’s a whiny, overpaid athlete. The Falcons will be fine. We still have one of the best ground games in the NFL and we still got MattyIce at the helm.

Eric

August 7th, 2009
12:10 pm

Marvin Harrison still has some legal issues to smooth out, that’s why no team has picked him up. Ferguson can still play, I like this pick-up. The safety issue, I think DeCoud was the starter anyway Moore will be back it’s not a serious problem.

Life Long Bird

August 7th, 2009
12:13 pm

How about Roddy going to Detroit with next years first round pick for Calvin Johnson? I know it is crazy but I can dream.

Mike Franklin

August 7th, 2009
12:14 pm

Every time news like this breaks the headlines, a little piece of that enthusiasm for 2009 bites the dust and blows away.

Roddy… oh Roddy, where art thou? Get thee to camp or ye will need a steel umbrella the next time ye run your no-practicing behind onto the turf in the dome.

confederated sports teams in Atlanta

August 7th, 2009
12:23 pm

If they can find 45 million to pay Rayan(golden BOY) who had never set foot on a NFL team and made Rayan look good they can pay MR. White 10 million! 6-10 watch

BIG DAWG

August 7th, 2009
12:24 pm

D Dowe at KC..???..Try D. Bowe!

chc4

August 7th, 2009
12:24 pm

cutter — That’s not what 1-4 weeks means at all. If he’s back on the field in 10 days then he’s very close to 100%. Otherwise they wouldn’t let him back out there. My gripe is that Ledbetter assumes he’s out for a month when that’s not what the teams stated. He could be back for the 2nd preseason game.

Sam

August 7th, 2009
12:27 pm

Wasn’t a typo. Done twice, keys have an R between them, never corrected before submission. He didn’t know the actual definition of the word rife but he does now.

Hamad Meander

August 7th, 2009
1:00 pm

Kudos to the Falcons moving so fast to secure the talents of two servicable WRs to bolster a dwindling receiver corp. I think Ferguson is the better of the two pickups, but Booker has great experience with QBs similar to, but not as talented as Matt Ryan.

Injuries happen – I am bummed bigtime losing Douglas and not seeing Moore compete for the starting safety job. However, I kinda had the feeling that Moore was not going to be 100% healthy this year, so it’s better getting his knee fixed now. My question, obviously, is, why not earlier? Did they have to wait for him to sign to get him into see the knee specialist?

Question: If Obama’s health care plan goes through, and you cannot opt out, how long would a player like William Moore have to wait for surgery on his knee?

DownGoesFrazier

August 7th, 2009
1:00 pm

What’s that thing Booker is doing in the top photo? And please, no more boring photos like ‘Linemen drills at practice’. Show close-ups of fights instead.

Quick

August 7th, 2009
1:02 pm

Hey ‘TheManMike’, I was thinkin Aaron Kelly too. DOL, whats the lowdown on his progression? He’s a little light, but good height. Not sure about speed against the pro’s either. We got another rookie on the roster named Darren Mougey listed at 6′ 6″ and 230 lbs. Whats the lowdown on his progression? C’mon DOL, we got two WR’s out. We need to know the scoop on the other WR’s man! Do your job, bro.

wxwax

August 7th, 2009
1:14 pm

You wrote “rife”.

I think you mean “rift”.

I need to be stiumulated

August 7th, 2009
2:15 pm

Hamad Meander —- That is a great question!

I need to be stimulated

August 7th, 2009
2:16 pm

Stimulate Stiumulate…the reason I don’t jump on people for typo’s or just knowing the meaning.

DrJ

August 7th, 2009
2:59 pm

Moore must have had endoscopic surgery to remove a bone or cartilage chip. He probably has been trying to play through the pain, but it finally got to him. He will be back and better than ever!

Cedric

August 7th, 2009
3:27 pm

We need to concentrate on defense still because I think with a stable run offense and with the addition of a bonafide TE we can sell the playaction alot better than in the past. Jenkins, Finneran and Kelly might have more chances to go deep with the defense having 8 in the box. If we can somehow keep our defense off the field and fresh we have an opportunity to compete with the better teams in the NFL.

Mike

August 7th, 2009
3:40 pm

Everyone wishing we would have gotten Harrison needs to understand there is a reason 31 other teams passed on him too. Maybe his unresolved legal issue is worrying folks or maybe his injury from a year ago is keeping them away…I’ve followed the FO and lived with their moves and to this point they have not shown reason to change that feeling.

Dawson Devitt (D3)

August 7th, 2009
4:00 pm

DOL – Great post as usual my man. Bring our Falcons some good luck out there with all this injury news. Hopefully, this will be the last of it. Thanks for the White update. Looks like it may get ugly and sounds like Dimitroff may be envisioning what an Atlanta Falcons team will look like without White in its plans.

richbrave

August 7th, 2009
4:47 pm

D. LED:

I was about to ask how my fellow alum and main man SIDBURY was doing, but read your commentary at the end of the article and saw he was still on top of his game. FA AARON KELLY, my other advise and FALCONS consent. Any chance he can help with the receiver problem? Lord knows it’s a golden opportunity for him to shine.

richbrave

August 7th, 2009
5:07 pm

BTW for those pointing to the November match-up against the REDSKINS, smile. First some improvement. They have a new kicker. Guy from INDIANAPOLIS. Supposed to be pretty good. Hope so because this year’s o-line is going to look like swiss cheese. Worst than last years’ edition IMO. CHRIS SAMUELS scares no one, and is coming off serious pec injury. DERRICK DOCKERY wasn’t all that when he left for BUFFALO. He’s-s-s back!!! Remains to be seen how the supposed best player on the offensive line will comport himself. To my mind, center CASEY RABACH is the best player at his position right now. Solid. RG RANDY THOMAS has already hurt his knee – again, and that broken neck has barely healed. I can’t see him holding up at all. STEPHON HEYER was beaten out of the starting line-up in ‘08 at RT by JOHN JANSEN for goodness sakes’ and JJ was a statue last year, just a shadow of his former self. HEYER just doesn’t cut it at this point in his career. JEREMY BRIDGES appears the best of the second unit and might be servicible in THOMAS’ slot. MIKE WILLIAMS’ comeback looks like a bust, and he was being counted on to take the RT position. Pulled groin already. You just can’t lose 110 pounds in four months and expect your body to hold up. Last years’ third rounder, guard CHAD RINEHART stunk it up so bad he couldn’t even get onto the field. Line coach is already talking him up saying he MIGHT be ready. Just whistling in the dark. Fa’ gidaboutit!!!! Look for desperation moves by the ‘SKINS all year along the o-line. Now on the defensive line, well, that’s another matter.