Friday’s injury report
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who has a turf toe injury, was limited in practice on Friday and was listed as questionable on the injury report for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game against Buffalo at the Georgia Dome.
Running Michael Turner did not practice all week, but is listed as questionable. Cornerback Chris Houston did not practice all week and is listed as doubtful.
Defensive end Jamaal Anderson (chest), defensive tackle Jonthan Babineaux (shoulder), left tackle Sam Baker (elbow, hamstring), guard Harvey Dahl (ankle), linebacker Curtis Lofton (shoulder, hamstring) and safety Charlie Peprah (hamstring) were all listed as questionable.
Also, Anderson and Peprah did not practice on Friday.
FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan took part in practice on Thursday in a limited capacity.
“He took some snaps which is right on schedule with what we wanted to do since we gave him the day off yesterday to let that toe settle down,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said.
Running back Michael Turner (ankle) and cornerback Chris Houston (hamstring) did not practice.
THE BRANCH – Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez is closing in on 1,000 catches for his career.
He needs six catches to join five other players over the mark. Ironically, Buffalo’s Terrell Owens needs just two catches. They both could get there on Sunday.
NFL TRIVA: Name the other five players who have more than 1,000 career catches?
Gonzalez said he’ll be back to play next season, but it is clear that he could keep playing. He said there’s no doubt he could play three more years, but is not sure if he wants to.
“It’s depends on what day of the week you ask me,” Gonzalez said. “I think that’s true of all old guys in the league. Next year, I’m coming back for sure. I’m never going to say I’m 100 percent done after next year. Obviously I would be leaning towards that direction unless something changes. I feel good mentally and physically. I love playing this game. I still think I can do it a high, high level.”
He’s clearly thought this process out.
“It’s one of those things that can’t just be my decision,” Gonzalez said. “I can’t be that selfish about it. It’s something I’d have to talk to my wife and my family about. Right now, I’m enjoying it.”
It was pointed out that few of the great tight ends have played past 33. Gonzalez will turn 34 in February. Shannon Sharpe played until he was 35. Jackie Smith, a hall of famer, played until he was 38.
“Those are the things you have to take into consideration,” Gonzalez said. “Fortunately, I have not had anything major, knock on wood. I have had some key stuff. MCL damage four times. A shoulder, I guess just normal stuff after this long of a career, but nothing too bad.”
Gonzalez has never won a playoff game in his career wants to reach the super Bowl.
“I enjoy game,” Gonzalez said. “Who knows, maybe I will go out there and play another three years. I don’t know. I’m not throwing that out the window.
“I agree with what Coach (John) Madden says. He says once you say you’re retiring, when guys come out and say they are retiring, it’s over. Mentally, you’ll shut it down. You should not say that. You should just wait until the end of the season and re-evaluate. That’s the way I’m going to take it. I’ve always told myself going into the next season that this is probably going to be my last year after 14 years in the NFL, but at the end of that year, who knows. I feel great.”
For Gonzalez to keep playing, he’d have to sign another contract. The Falcons can try to extend him next season or when he’s clear about whether he wants to continue playing.
“I know I could play,” Gonzalez said. “I know I could play another three or four years and play well, too. So I’m not
going to completely put it out of my mind, but then I would need a deal, too. I don’t have a deal to go that long.”
FALCON COACH MIKE SMITH ON THE BILLS: The Bills are a little tougher than most 5-9 teams.
“Five of their losses have been by seven points are less,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. ”Three have been by three points or less. They play a very physical style of football both offensively and defensively. They run the ball very well. They’ve got two physical running backs. Defensively, I like the way that they play. They play with a lot of energy.”
The Bills have the 32nd ranked rushing defense in the league.
“They’ve had a couple of plays where they’ve given up some explosive runs,” Smith said. “But I feel what they are doing schematically and scheme-wise is very, very sound. They just had a couple of breakdowns in a couple of games. I think they are a very good defense.”
(My Buffalo folks tell me that the running lanes will be wide open if the Falcons account for linebacker Paul Poluszny. So it should be pretty simple: Block Poluszny in the run game and account for Aaron Schobel when passing and the offense should roll. Nine players have rushed for more than 100 yards against the Bills and three other have rushed for 80).
SCOUTING REPORT ON BRIAN BROHM IN GREEN BAY?: My mentor and buddy Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sent along some intel on Brohm, who’s the likely starter on Sunday for Buffalo.
Seems he had trouble reading defenses, held onto the ball too long and just generally had trouble adjusting to the speed of the Pro game.
McGINN wrote in an Aug. 26 story, “The performance of quarterback Brian Brohm has been so uninspiring this month that he has been the subject of pointed commentary by the color analyst on the Green Bay Packers’ own pre-season television network.
“Rich Gannon, a quarterback in the National Football League during a 17-year career lasting from 1987-’04, made remarks about Brohm on Saturday night that might be considered tame by some standards but stood in dramatic contrast to the benevolent work of others who previously held the job.
“He looks a step slow,” Gannon told viewers late in the first half of the Buffalo game. “He’s late with his reads. You see the footwork is not sound. He’s not clear and it’s really affecting his accuracy.”
In the second half, Gannon said Brohm didn’t “look comfortable under center” based on “the batted balls, the interceptions, the decisions.”
He continued: “It looks to me like there’s some confusion. He’s not reading things properly. The footwork has to be cleaned up. You can see he’s moving all around the pocket. He’s just not sure of himself right now.”
Triva Answer: Marvin Harrison, Jerry Rice, Cris Carter, Isaac Bruce and Tim Brown.