Falcons face tough calls on Ryan, Turner

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan injured his toe during the first series of the Nov. 29 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Photo by CURTIS COMPTON/CCompton@ajc.com

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan injured his toe during the first series of the Nov. 29 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Photo by CURTIS COMPTON/CCompton@ajc.com

THE INFIRMARY –   Last season, you knew the law of injury averages would catch up to the Falcons, but you never thought it would happen all the very next season.

Tight end Justin Peelle, a part-time starter depending on  formation, will be the latest member to miss a start this season.

He suffered a “head”  injury against the Eagles. The league’s shifting policy on concussion injuries is designed basically to protect players from themselves. So he’s down for the Saints game.

There will some news later today on the progress of quarterback Matt Ryan’s turf toe injury and Michael Turner’s high right ankle sprain. Also, looking forward to the update on Todd McClure’s knee. Ol’ Mud Duck is probably just fine and you know he’s going to try to keep his streak of 2,346 starts going.

Michael "The Burner" Turner ran for 151 yards in the last matchup with the Saints.

Michael "The Burner" Turner ran for 151 yards in the last matchup with the Saints.

In the sports writing game, sometimes you have to state the obvious. So here goes: Ryan and Turner are needed if the Falcons are going to spoil the Saints’ undefeated season.

Both are tough and determined athletes and are going to do everything they can to get on the field. Last week, Turner said if he gets cleared and is breathing, he’s going to play.

Ryan, while he’s hasn’t done any interviews since his injury, played most of the 2006 season at Boston College on a broken foot. He also came back fast from a sprained ankle that season and only missed on game.  Hope he’s in the open locker room today to share some thoughts with the media so we can pass them along to you all.

Two doctors told me if his turf toe sprain was mild enough, the Falcons could put a steel insert or a carbon fiber plate under the bottom of the big toe to force it to stay in place.  He might still have some  trouble pushing off his back foot while throwing.

Both injuries are two or the hardest to fight back from. Turf toe is really wicked and normally takes eight to 12 weeks to

The Falcons cheerleaders will need the fans help to re-take the dome after last week's game.

The Falcons cheerleaders will need the fans help to re-take the dome after last week's game.

heal, according to Dr. Steven Weinfeld, the chief of foot and ankle surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

“A lot of these types of injuries can become chronic,” said Dr. Weinfeld. “If the player feels better, he might not be all better and then will aggravate the thing throughout the rest of the season.  Then it becomes a chronic condition until the offseason when you can stay off of it and rest the foot.”

The Falcons will have to some key medical decisions this week. While Coach Mike Smith told us that the “Sky is not falling,” the playoffs are on the line. But how  wise will it be to rush Ryan and Turner out there against the Saints and risk long term/chronic issues?

Decisions, decisions?

104 comments Add your comment

Jeepers

December 9th, 2009
7:42 am

D-Led, thanks for sharing the information. I’d prefer to see the backups get more time. Go Falcons!

Samuel

December 9th, 2009
7:59 am

Even with Ryan and Turner in the game, it wouldn’t garantee a victory of a team who clearly is better than you. The Falcons simply will come into this game limping. Some of these guys on the Falcons aren’t playmakers.

Zizzle

December 9th, 2009
8:00 am

If Ryan can go, the Falcons need him! If he tries and doesn’t still experiences pain and the Falcons lose, at best they can go is 9-7 then shut him down for the season. 9-7more than likely, will not get them in the playoffs with the Giants, Cowboys and Philly having the tie breakers. If they lose and Ryan is still having pain with the toe, they can shut him down for the season cause, again 9-7 will NOT get the Falcons into the playoffs. Rest him for next year if they lose to the Saints! If Turner can go, start him as well, if he is having problems with the ankle, and the Falcons lose, rest Turner for the rest of the year as well! GO FALCONS!

deandrums

December 9th, 2009
8:05 am

That right toe took the brunt of the weight of two opposing players.
Great photo above displays that injury!
Hurry back Matt! Redman struggled from the start missing 2 open receivers in the first 2 plays. Also, had too many balls batted down!
He also eyeballed the first receiver he intended to throw to thus telegraphing where he was going with the ball. Worst Falcons game in 3 years upsetting to watch……..

Joe Bag O' Donuts

December 9th, 2009
8:06 am

This is a tough call. I’d hate to see the Falcons not break “the streak” and have to sit through another “Eagles” type of beat down. On the other hand I’d hate to see the investment the Falcons made in MR2 and MT33 go to waist if thier injuries turn chronic.
Good luck boys me and mine will be at the Dome either way!

real fan

December 9th, 2009
8:30 am

Dont chance the investment . These backups need to earn there keep and show some effort .The defense owes this team at least one good win . If niether can pull thier weight start cutting . Preferably with a new defensive coordinator .

Tami

December 9th, 2009
8:31 am

Wasn’t Ryan and Turner starting the last time the Falcons faced New Orleans earlier in the season? It didn’t seem to make any difference then, and it’s not likely to make any difference this weekend — even if by a miracle they were playing at 100%. There are other issues to address with strengthening this team in order to beat and consistently win against playoff caliber teams like New Orleans. I hope the team will be in position to do this in the offseason. Right now, the goal should be finishing this season with a winning record. Right now, they’re 6-6.

D-DawgDavis

December 9th, 2009
8:36 am

DO NOT RUSH them back!!! Let New Orleans have their fun and stuff. Let’s focus on finishing strong and building on what we have. Back to Back winning seasons was the goal at the beginning and it should still be the main theme now (GA Dome officials, please do not hang some stupid banner about this).

William

December 9th, 2009
8:41 am

I am sick of Redman, put J.P. Wilson in for some experience. I do not want to trade off another Farve.

MAXMP

December 9th, 2009
8:46 am

If you could explain to me the logic of letting Shockley go and keeping Redman then please go ahead. DJ was scheduled to be the starter a few years ago before he tore his ACL, Redman has been cut as a starter and from teams more than once and we keep him. Whats up with that? The main problem with the Falcons as I see it is this. Matty Ice being the saviour for the franchise, time will tell. I will make this observation and that is he does not like being knocked around in the pocket. This forces him to release the ball to early or try to force it into coverage. That’s his M.O and that’s my opinion.

Jeff

December 9th, 2009
8:54 am

Lets be realistic here. The Falcons proably won’t win another game this season. We have no offense, no corners, and the play calling stinks. We season ticket holders will keep coming out and supporting our team, but its going to be hard to pull out a win with he reamaing games. The offensive line is beat up, the defense will be ripped apart by Brees on Sunday. It’s going to be hard to watch, but we will be there….

Ladies and gentlemen, your Cobb County Falcons!

December 9th, 2009
8:56 am

You KNOW Blank is going to move the team north now. Will be the house that Ryan built.

p.s. Vick is going to find things a bit tougher working behind the Cleveland Browns line. And the Dog Pound will never be the same…

spectator

December 9th, 2009
9:00 am

Hey Max MP, you must have been having a dream if you think Shockley was EVER scheduled to be a starter in the NFL. This is a guy who had to sit behind Greene (a guy who couldn’t make it in the NFL)for 4 years at UGA, and a guy that no team in the NFL had any interest in when he was cut by the Falcons. So there you go…the “logic” behind cutting Shockley is that he can’t play in the NFL. Only reason he was ever on the roster was as a “token” UGA player.

Dandy D

December 9th, 2009
9:42 am

Forget playoffs; forget 9-7; forget the honeymoon. Season’s over. I’m not a downer. Just a realist. Falcons are who we thought they were. A middling 8-8 team. Losses to the Jets and Bucs will make them so. Scapegoats? Call them Injuries, Play-calling and Defense. AKA; The Terrible Trio.

Ivan

December 9th, 2009
9:48 am

I can only hope Blank moves the team out of Atlanta. On to the topic though, I say sit Ryan and Turner. Falcons are out of the playoff race, even if not mathematically, they are realistically. There’s no way the two teams ahead of them are going to drop 3 games and the Falcons win out. Play the other guys you signed to play. Rotate them, get them some playing time, and work on the depth you obviously need.

NOLA

December 9th, 2009
9:54 am

Who dat gonna beat em Saints? Child Please!!!!!!!!!

:) :) :) :)

JeanE

December 9th, 2009
9:56 am

They are so stupid if they rush M. Ryan back, chronic turf toe can be a career ender, why would you do that to him and the franchise? Let’s face it, this season isn’t looking too good anyway, let him continue to rest it, as he should. Turner, I don’t think he’s as critical to this team as Ryan. I still maintain that we have much more depth at RB than we do at QB. Don’t mean to be a defeatist/pessmimist but we’re likely to get torpedoed this weekend, all I hope for is that we play hard and at least give it maximum effort. I love the Falcons but we are not a playoff team, we are an average team who took advantage of a soft schedule last year and a QB who caught people by surprise. Go Birds.

midnite

December 9th, 2009
10:03 am

Thanks, DOL for keeping us updated and for the new blog. Bring us back some good news from the Branch. I’m kinda wondering if Ryan was not hurting some even before the Tampa Bay game.

TMoney

December 9th, 2009
10:04 am

I say sit them both for the rest of the season. I know they want to be out there, but we can’t risk the future for a most likely futile attempt at the playoffs.

And one other thing, the Saints just waived Chris McAlister. Dimitroff, GO GET HIM! We need the help.

Voice of Reason

December 9th, 2009
10:08 am

It is not likely that the Falcons can win against the Saints. Not this year. So…rest Ryan and Turner this Sunday, pray they can return the next week and help finish with 3 wins and hope to get help and get in the playoffs. If Turner, and especially Ryan, miss games after the Saints game, the chance of additional losses is much higher. Since we likely will loose this Sunday, put JPW out there and see what he’s got. This would be very valuable info as we look towards the backup QB situation for next year. Though 9-7 probably will not get us into the playoffs, it still would break the curse of no consecutive winning seasons. We knew it would take time to re-build this team. We also knew our DBs would be subject. Smitty and TD are doing a great job and will bring us consistent success as we go forward. Go Falcons!

mountain_jim

December 9th, 2009
10:11 am

There will never be another Farve. Way to go Jerry Belt-buckle!

FalconUGAFan

December 9th, 2009
10:11 am

Let em rest. No need to risk aggravating the injuries.

gdg73

December 9th, 2009
10:19 am

To Arthur Blank, Thomas Dimitroff, Mike Smith, and Falcon Fans:

Pray that Michael Vick doesn’t go to the Carolina Panthers next year. Vick, Deangelo Willliams, Jonathan Stewart, and Steve Smith could be a dangerous, if not lethal combination.

gdg73

December 9th, 2009
10:20 am

Exactly, sign Chris McCalister for the rest of the season.

Gamer

December 9th, 2009
10:20 am

The Falcons chances of making the playoff are impossible at this moment. All the teams contending for postseason wild-cards against the Falcons owns the tiebreaker scenario.

Even if the Falcons could make the postseason, it’s very unlikely that they would advance to Super Bowl, with a banged up team!!!

So the Falcons should save Ryan and Turner for next season!!!

Get ready to make major off-season transactions!!!

This season isn’t worth losing your franchise players to senseless career injuries!!!

Coach Smith should play it smart and fold his trump players until next season. Let them heal for a Super Bowl run next season!!!

gdg73

December 9th, 2009
10:28 am

lets shelf Ryan and Turner, go 6-10, and position ourselves for the Eric Berry sweepstakes.

Sam

December 9th, 2009
10:33 am

Again bottomline wait till next year.

Lesa

December 9th, 2009
10:46 am

I do hope the Falcons don’t rush Ryan or Turner back too soon. I think Turner should have been on the bench two weeks ago when we played the Giants; maybe he wouldn’t have re-injured his ankle. I really don’t think Ryan should come back, but if Redman plays again this Sunday, I don’t know if I’ll have the stomach to watch the game. I’m still depressed by the Eagles debacle and the Saints will make us look even worse if Ryan doesn’t play. Ugh. Some days, it is really hard to be a Falcons fan, but I just can’t stop loving them. GO FALCONS!!!

tell it like it is

December 9th, 2009
10:53 am

This sorry pro team would have a tough time beating Alabama much less the Saints.Go Saints

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 9th, 2009
11:15 am

Stay on topic guys :)

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 9th, 2009
11:17 am

D-Led

Please check on Ryan’s MRI results. I would like to know the status of the tests.

Thanks Buddy :)

humble(1)

December 9th, 2009
11:18 am

I say sit them. I understand the playoffs are on the line but they are a long shot even with a victory. If we can have our O-line back fully then we will still have a shot. I think that hurt us more than anything else.

Keith Mercer

December 9th, 2009
11:19 am

Start Veron Haynes

Ivan

December 9th, 2009
11:20 am

I think the general consensus on the board is obvious. Rest the both of them. There’s no need in causing further damage or risking possible career ending injuries just to hit 9-7. I say start JPW and Snelling.

retired on the lake

December 9th, 2009
11:20 am

Last nite i drank the koolaid and took a walk
the clouds had passed and i saw a hawk

no not a hawk a falcon grand
came to a clearing and there i stand

the falcon circled and did alight
upon a branch within my sight

i gasped as i watched upon the tree
as the falcon spoke forth to me

“don’t loose faith on brookings sin
not another game shall the cowboys win”

i shivered in the cold wet nite
standing in that half moon light

i rubbed my eyes and watched his beak
as the falcon grand went on to speak

“the gotham boys go down in flames
one win for them is what remains”

now my head was swirling and i was freaking
i remember from college we called this peaking

the falcon flapped his wings and shook the tree
and through the woods the future i could see

“stranger things have happened man
beat the saints you know we can”

“remember this and get this quick
in the playoffs we get revenge on vick”

“no super bowl in the plans this year
but the curse is broken have no fear”

“so go on home and get some rest
this sunday we will pass the test”

i woke this morning and what did i see
a falcon feather in front of me

LAST NIGHT I DRANK THE KOOL AID

recipe for kool aid one newcastle 3 shots of makers mark and a 30 year old piece of paper with a picture of snoopy on it.

my head really hurts

GO FALCONS

MV#777

December 9th, 2009
11:23 am

THE REDEMPTION OF MR.MICHAEL VICK!!!!!!!!

CHECK THIS OUT!!!!!!!

PHIL 34 – ATL -7
VICK SCORED 14-7=7

1)14-7=7
2)3+4= 7 =#7
3)ATL= 7

THE PROBLEM IS THE ATLANTA FALCONS NEED…. MICHAEL VICK #7.

YOU HAVE AN ATHLETE IN MIKE WHO THROWS LIKE JOHN ELWAY, WHO RUNS LIKE BARRY SANDERS, WHO IS AS FAST AS DEION SANDERS, AND WHO IS PLAYING THE QUARTERBACK POSITION. PEOPLE LOVE IT,ALL OVER THE WORLD, I LOVE IT!!!!!! MR.BLANK THINK!! AND THE DOME WILL SELLOUT AGAIN,AGAIN AN AGAIN.
YOU ARE A BUSINESS MAN…. HE’S BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GoFalcons

December 9th, 2009
11:23 am

Without an O-line or corners this team will not beat the Saint’s.

What happened to the O-line!?

GoFalcons

December 9th, 2009
11:25 am

MV777,

They let Mike Vick run one in from the 3 yard line, and throw one from the 5 yard line. Clearly, McNabb did the work and Michael got his cheap TD’s in. He’s not “back”. A QB has to do more than score from inside the 5 yard line.

midnite

December 9th, 2009
11:27 am

Choke

Have you killed any dogs today? You know how you used to boast abusing dogs on some of you early posts. Glad to see the man took off your straight jacket. Now behave yourself or it goes back on. LMAO

southernbird7

December 9th, 2009
11:40 am

Hey wake UP!! even if ryan and turner were back , you got to many dude on this team, neither backup running back can carry this team unlike other teams in our division, who in the hell hired these scouts, fire them all. second the bucs defense is far superior to the falconslast year the falcons were two or three defenses player from stardom, then smitty happen, dump five starter, and now the birds have been S….ed on, why would you let foxworthty and boley go, then jackson and griner, these coaches were drunk the whole off season, every offensive team had to use two guys to keep jackson out, thereby abraham was very effective, this year a burst of empty. the days of the small cb are over, sorry falcon talent alone wont get it any more, if new orleans can find replacement, why cant you fools get up and swallow your pride and do the same. 50% of the starter are busted up the other 50% are dudes. put norwood and snellin on special teams and go get two guys that want to be stars, of course burner can’t be replaced but if he can go at least your confidence in his replacement will be their. by the way isnt it time authur blank stop kidding himself , Iknow his wallet is, bring mike back, or are you afraid you’ll find out this is mistake #2, what ever the case may be, STOP THE BLEEDING NOW!!!

Hollywould

December 9th, 2009
11:52 am

Let em sit. This season is over. What would be the point?

This ain't your pre-2007 MV7 model and he's not coming back

December 9th, 2009
11:55 am

MV#777,

YOU HAVE AN ATHLETE IN MIKE WHO THROWS LIKE JOHN ELWAY – Vick does not do 4th quarter comebacks like Elway did.
WHO RUNS LIKE BARRY SANDERS – in other words has a bunch of losses and then breaks one big run
WHO IS AS FAST AS DEION SANDERS – Vick now runs a 4.8 at best

MSS

December 9th, 2009
12:01 pm

i also say sign McCalister and GoFalcons i agree with u 100% MV is not back McNabb does all the work and gets no credit Matt Ryan is our QB now so we will be fine GO FALCONS!!!!!!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

December 9th, 2009
12:06 pm

Disappointed to tell you all the Matt Ryan was not available during the open media session. HOWEVER, the buzz around the facilities is that he’s going to try to practice today. Will keep you updated.

MV#777

December 9th, 2009
12:10 pm

THE REDEMPTION OF MR.MICHAEL VICK!!!!!!!!

CHECK THIS OUT!!!!!!!

PHIL 34 – ATL -7
VICK SCORED 14-7=7

1)14-7=7
2)3+4= 7 =#7
3)ATL= 7

THE PROBLEM IS THE ATLANTA FALCONS NEED…. MICHAEL VICK #7.

YOU HAVE AN ATHLETE IN MIKE WHO THROWS LIKE JOHN ELWAY, WHO RUNS LIKE BARRY SANDERS, WHO IS AS FAST AS DEION SANDERS, AND WHO IS PLAYING THE QUARTERBACK POSITION. PEOPLE LOVE IT,ALL OVER THE WORLD, I LOVE IT!!!!!! MR.BLANK THINK!! AND THE DOME WILL SELLOUT AGAIN,AGAIN AN AGAIN.
YOU ARE A BUSINESS MAN…. HE’S BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!LOL…………..

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 9th, 2009
12:13 pm

GoFalcons

December 9th, 2009
11:25 am
MV777,

They let Mike Vick run one in from the 3 yard line, and throw one from the 5 yard line. Clearly, McNabb did the work and Michael got his cheap TD’s in. He’s not “back”. A QB has to do more than score from inside the 5 yard line.

“I see you have a problem with fibbing” :)

Prior to throwing that 5 yard td, Vick threw a 43 yard bomb between 2 defenders, with a tight spiral that the CHOKE can only drool about :)

So please explain how McNabb set up that drive :)

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 9th, 2009
12:17 pm

midnite

December 9th, 2009
11:27 am
Choke

Have you killed any dogs today? You know how you used to boast abusing dogs on some of you early posts. Glad to see the man took off your straight jacket. Now behave yourself or it goes back on. LMAO

“Midnite my friend” D-LED asks that we STAY on topic guy.

Have a nice day :)

e.b.

December 9th, 2009
12:18 pm

The Falcons nearly beat Saints at home. You know- with playoff implications on the line, Falcons season literally on the line- these guys are going to play, and I predict a Falcons victory. Especially after such a horrible loss last Sunday, you know they’re gonna come out guns-a-blaz’n

Deplane

December 9th, 2009
12:20 pm

To all you fair weather fans out there…take a hike! We don’t need your ilk around here.

Don’t rush Ryan and Turner back….and risk further injury.

I will support my Falcons no matter what.

MAXMP

December 9th, 2009
12:31 pm

Spectator

Good name for you. The facts are Shockley missed the entire 2007 season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament and damage to the medial collateral ligament in his left knee during a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills. If Shockley didn’t get hurt many football experts predicted he would start.
As for David Greene…..Please!!!! I recall two games he got credit for winning that if Shockley had not come in after he feigned injury…USC and GSU… Georgia would have lost. As for UGA and their QB IQ, if I were you I would stick with the Falcons. It’s a more sane point. Willie Martinez did not throw all those interceptions this year last time I checked. Talking about Vick killing dogs, somebody need to investigate why UGA keeps keeling over, my suggestion it’s because of shock and disbelief!