FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons appear set to face Green Bay’s high voltage passing attack, which was fifth in the league while averaging 257.8 yards, without their top nickel back.
Brian Williams, who suffered a knee injury in the season finale against Carolina, did not practice on Friday. He has not practiced since suffering the injury and it would be unlikely for head coach Mike Smith to put him on the field without any practice in two weeks.
Williams is officially listed as doubtful for the game, meaning that the team is 75 percent certain that he will not play.
Defensive end John Abraham (groin), defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (shoulder), middle linebacker Curtis Lofton (limited), wide receiver Roddy White (knee) and safety Thomas DeCoud (ankle) all fully
participated in practice and were listed as questionable for the game.
All are expected to play.
With Williams likely out, second-year man Christopher Owens will take back over at nickel back.
Owens, a third round pick from San Jose State in 2009, played extensively as a rookie and finished the season as the starting left cornerback. He opened the 2010 season as the top nickel back while Williams was working his way back from offseason knee surgery.
Owens was heavily targeted against Cincinnati and made 13 tackles. Williams took over as the top nickel back the following week against Tampa Bay and helped to stabilize the young secondary.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter