INJURY REPORT: Return of Babineaux, Nicholas could boost defense

FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons’ defense could receive a boost with the return

Babineaux

Babineaux

 of defensive starters Jonathan Babineaux and Stephen Nicholas for their NFC showdown with the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night at the Georgia Dome.

Babineaux, Nicholas and running back Jason Snelling returned to practice Wednesday.

Babineaux, a defensive tackle, suffered a partially torn MCL in his left knee in the season opener against Chicago on Sept. 11. His presence has been missed. The defense has not recorded a sack in the three games that he has been out.

Here, Stephen Nicholas (54) is flying over the top of the pile of Falcons as they stop the 49ers' Frank Gore (21) in the first quarter. Johnny Crawford / jcrawford@ajc.com

Here, Stephen Nicholas (54) is flying over the top of the pile of Falcons as they stop the 49ers' Frank Gore (21) in the first quarter. Johnny Crawford / jcrawford@ajc.com

Nicholas, a linebacker, suffered a calf injury in practice Sept. 23 and has missed the past two games. He has seven tackles and one forced fumble.

“Big day in terms of both of those guys because I think they are ahead of schedule,” coach Mike Smith said. “We didn’t think they would be back this early. … I want to caution that it’s their first day back and we’ll have to see how they respond to the wear and tear of a complete practice. We are really happy that they’ve gotten back quicker then we have anticipated.”

Snelling missed the Seattle game with a concussion. Safety William Moore (neck) and cornerback Christopher Owens (ankle) joined Snelling as limited participants. Smith said he expected all three to be upgraded Thursday.

Center Todd McClure (knee), wide receiver Roddy White (thigh), tight end Michael Palmer (left ankle) and Cliff Matthews (knee) did not practice Wednesday.

GREEN BAY’S WEDNESDAY INJURY REPORT:

Bryan Bulaga, T Knee Did Not Participate

Chad Clifton, T Knee Limited Participation

Nick Collins, S Neck Out

Donald Driver, WR Shin Did Not Participate

Ryan Grant, RB Kidney Full Participation

Brad Jones, LB Hamstring Limited Participation

Jamari Lattimore, LB Shoulder Limited Participation

Pat Lee, CB Back Limited Participation

Clay Matthews, LB Quadricep Did Not Participate

Mike Neal, DE Knee Out

Andrew Quarless, TE Knee Did Not Participate

Ryan Taylor, TE Shoulder Limited Participation

Tramon Williams, CB Shoulder Limited Participation

Charles Woodson, CB Foot / Knee Did Not Participate

Frank Zombo, LB Shoulder Limited Participation

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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57 comments Add your comment

mackdad

October 5th, 2011
4:06 pm

good news…will it be enough to stop Rodgers?….let’s hope so otherwise could be a long nite for birds

Cedric

October 5th, 2011
4:11 pm

D-Led how much did Babs practice and how did he look running around during the sessions.

Einstein

October 5th, 2011
4:15 pm

Babs presence will have a huge effect. Let’s put this into perspective…with Babs in the Chicago game, we got 5 sacks on Cutler, Babs hasn’t played the last 3 games and we’ve gotten 0 sacks. Hmmm, I’d say he’s a big part of our defense and so is Nicholas. Good to have everyone healthy and ready to go. We’re going to need everyone vs. the Packers

ernisTbass

October 5th, 2011
4:26 pm

you could give BVG the Ravens defense and within a week they would stink

Marcus

October 5th, 2011
4:27 pm

How effective will he be coming back from a partially torn knee ligament?!?!?

joe white

October 5th, 2011
4:30 pm

we need all the help we can get for sure. Lets GO FALCONS

Fan

October 5th, 2011
4:32 pm

No turnovers, field position, and time away from GB offense will be the key in this game. We need too get this monkey off of our backs and start playing the way we had for years. Matt Ryan need time too throw the ball and he create matchups problems all over. Look out for HD this week for the falcons and Ray Edwards making big plays

joe white

October 5th, 2011
4:35 pm

LETS GO FALCONS

PMC

October 5th, 2011
4:36 pm

I hope Babs is back and able to be effective. That kind of injury can linger I’d think.

CGD..

October 5th, 2011
4:41 pm

I keep reading on these blogs, these are the worst Fal-cons fans so much negative…

Well if ya cant take the heat get out of the kitchen softie…

Oh btw, theres a fan blog for delusional Fanatic Falcon fans.
Its D the 3rd(DX3) over there————-> take a hike cry babies….lol

Falcons Fan 4 Life

October 5th, 2011
4:54 pm

Curtis Lofton made a great point in regards to the teams defensive execution. He said when they had OTA’s in previous years this time in the season it was no thinking just reacting. So the Falcons are in maybe 3rd or 4th preseason mode now, but best believe the best football is ahead of us.

Let’s Go Falcons!!!!

Falcons Fan 4 Life

October 5th, 2011
4:55 pm

Oh by the way….I’m concerned about Bosher too

Astro Joe

October 5th, 2011
4:55 pm

It will be good to have these two back on the field. Now we just have to get Harry Douglas off of his season long sabbatical. Watching the Packers slot receivers Sunday night will only make us long for the guy on the back of the milk carton who has disappeared.

Astro Joe

October 5th, 2011
4:56 pm

Falcons Fan 4 Life, the only problem with Lofton’s statement is that the same could be said for the other teams as well. While our defense may get better, isn’t the same true of opposing offenses who missed OTAs?

CGD..

October 5th, 2011
5:00 pm

Falcons could not have picked a worse time to play these packers..

Its going to be real ugly Sunday night!

Van Brocklin

October 5th, 2011
5:06 pm

The Packers could not have picked a worse time to play these Falcons.

CGD..

October 5th, 2011
5:14 pm

Mr Blank if the Packers put up 50 on your squad, you’d be wise to put Coach Clean Shot on notice…

loyal falcon

October 5th, 2011
5:39 pm

@ Van Brocklin….I agree with you. I think we’re going to see some stuff we haven’t seen yet in this game.

caw0726

October 5th, 2011
5:44 pm

I noticed McClure did not start or play much against the Seahawks?

Mike

October 5th, 2011
5:47 pm

Babineaux has truly been missed. Jerry, Peters, and Walker just do not seem to present that inside threat that Babineaux does. Nicholas being back is good, however I do belive the Peterson played well last week. Hopefully Snelling being back is not going to decrease Rodgers role in the backfield. I would like to see him worked more into the offense not less.

True Falcon Fan

October 5th, 2011
5:58 pm

Hey 4:41 why don’t you take your carp to another blog, like take it all the way to GB, you’ll fit in nicely there.
Folks on this blog in case your moronic brain and blind eye’s don’t see….. This is a FALCON FAN BLOG,,,,, You have an opinion you’ve stated it “NOW” say “Good-bye”!!!!!!

Go Falcons – CheeseHeads Next —- Will be a GREAT GAME for sure —- Ole Noodle arm & Falcons win another close one —- bet the over “BIG”

True Falcon Fan

October 5th, 2011
6:00 pm

The over on this Sunday night game could be a NFL record breaker on total points scored

Long Time STH

October 5th, 2011
6:03 pm

The most interesting thing I saw in the injury report not mentioned in D’Leds column as it didn’t cover the Pack’s injuries. Charles Woodson did not practice today or Clay Matthews either. If those two are not ready to go it could definitely give our offense a boost.

Paddy

October 5th, 2011
6:33 pm

ernis Tbass…..I can tell by your comments you have never coached sports. Guess you have never been a real fan either.

bart

October 5th, 2011
6:34 pm

@ernisTbass – your post is dead-on. Although BVG is just following thru with Smitty’s conservative philosophy.

CGD..

October 5th, 2011
6:47 pm

Michael M.

October 5th, 2011
7:35 am

“3 keys for the Falcons to win Sunday nights Battle
1) Hope
2) Faith
3) Prayer”

Fascinating!

Playing a D-lineman with one good leg, sound like desperation?

Whopper Dawg

October 5th, 2011
6:49 pm

GB 42 ATL 21

Will be a route, let’s see, Seattle should have won and we couldn’t stop their passing attack, and we will do what against GB???

Just saying

October 5th, 2011
7:04 pm

The Falcons – Green Bay game Sunday night has the potential of going either way…..a win or a loss for the Falcons. Either is possible, but one thing for sure is that the Falcons will show up energized and ready to play. Go Falcons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paddy

October 5th, 2011
7:09 pm

bart……ditto ernist Tbass. What poor fans you 2 are. Pick a new team for gosh sakes. WOW, what a bunch of losers!

honest_abe

October 5th, 2011
7:40 pm

i’d like to see more of harry myself. but thats probably not going to happen until the offensive line proves they can protect without extra help.

having babs back is huge. just wished we had a pass rusher opposite abe. i hope owens and franks come ready to play because they’re going to be on the field a lot.

keepinitreal

October 5th, 2011
8:19 pm

Are you kidding me? No sacks in the last three games?

I knew it was bad, but that’s mindboggling.

Master Reynolds

October 5th, 2011
8:19 pm

You falcon fans are a pathetic bunch. No confidence, no hope, no chance, no championships, and no class. You rise up just long enough for your team to let you down again. How does it feel to support a team thats destined for failure? Just pathetic.

SeenThisB4

October 5th, 2011
8:22 pm

Falcan’ts are fading,…. melting,…going, going, going.

CGD..

October 5th, 2011
8:36 pm

Hard to RISE UP when your team is 0-46 in the SB wins..

And the Streak will continue………………..

A big FAT ZERO! lol

[...] rest of the article can be found here: Atlanta FalconsRelated Posts:FEATURED ARTICLE: INJURY REPORT: Owens returns; McClure and Babineaux outFEATURED [...]

DR. FALCON

October 5th, 2011
10:55 pm

DOES IT MATTER IF BABINEAU AND NICHOLAS ARE BACK? DIMITROFF EMPHASIZED AN EXPLOSIVE OFFENSE IN THE OFFSEASON, PRIOR TO THE LOCKOUT! SCORING 30PTS, WITH 3 FGs, DOES NOT QUALIFY AS EXPLOSIVE AGAINST A SORRY SEATTLE TEAM! IF WE DON’T SCORE TD’S AGAINST THE PACKERS IN OUR OWN STADIUM, WE WILL BE EMBARRASSED AGAIN IN PRIMETIME! THATS REAL!!!!

Falcons > Everyone

October 5th, 2011
11:10 pm

Tbe Falcons will win this game. PERIOD.

JayCool 4DABirds

October 5th, 2011
11:12 pm

We’re going to “Smack The Pack!” Rise Up Faalcon fans, we must believe.

rm

October 5th, 2011
11:36 pm

Yeh doc, it does matter. Babs is a force in the middle when he plays. This is a good thing. Go Birds!

antman

October 6th, 2011
12:01 am

Thers not much to say about this game. As much as I want the Falcons to win,i CAN’T WATCH THIS ONE. I’ll see on the news how Rodgers riped that defence apart.

Run4ever

October 6th, 2011
12:03 am

Forget about this explosive offense crap. This puts unneccessary pressure on the Falcons just like calling the Eagles the dream team. We are sitting on 500 and must improve in all phases of this game. The Packers are the new “N.O. Saints”. They are rolling. To be the “best”, you have to win against whoever is in front of you at the time. When I look at the Falcon’s schedule for 2011, it looks scary. They have a tough schedule and it never gets easier. I’m sure they are looking at it that way as well. But guess what? GB puts on their pants just like we do and no one can claim that they will have a perfect game against every opponent all the time home and away. That is why I think the Falcons will win this weekend. It’s like the old saying: Why go with 2 fives in your head, when you can have a 10 in the bed! A win against GB will produce a confidence that they can build on and GB knows this and will do everything in their power to keep it from happening. Compared to last year, I think this year and this game will indicate the identity of this team; whether or not it has heart. This will turn out to be the defining game in Matt Ryan’s career. Trust me, you can take that to the bank.

Puma

October 6th, 2011
12:56 am

Love those old skool unis in the pic above…lets go back to those!!

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Michael M.

October 6th, 2011
7:48 am

I see Green Bay has alot of players on the injury list, they are a banged up squad right now……..advantage goes to the Falcons, they just take em Sunday night Boys !

Michael M.

October 6th, 2011
7:54 am

CGD..

October 5th, 2011
6:47 pm
Michael M.

October 5th, 2011
7:35 am

“3 keys for the Falcons to win Sunday nights Battle
1) Hope
2) Faith
3) Prayer”

Fascinating!

Playing a D-lineman with one good leg, sound like desperation?

You would be surprised what a little of all three can do not only in football but all facets of life my friend !

nathan

October 6th, 2011
9:59 am

Green Bay – 24, Atlanta – 28

Samuel

October 6th, 2011
10:20 am

I think Coach Smith will have to gamble, in order for the Falcons to be successful. He will need to go for it on fourth down, when the field position is there. He can’t leave a stone unturned, I like to see Mike Mularky use all his weapons. Matt Ryan will have to be in a zone, he has to have a breakout game against arguably the best quarterback in the league.

The Falconator

October 6th, 2011
11:01 am

It’s time to pull that proverbial rabbit out of our hat and get rid of our predictable offense and defense. Has Mularky ever heard of using screen plays to slow down the pass rush? Why do we even have Q if we’re not gonna use him in ideal spots? Please please please stop already with the 3 man pass rush. It isn’t working! You can’t give an opposing quarterback that much time to survey the field. If TJack could throw on us, what do you thing ARod will do? GO FALCONS. TIME TO FLY!

Gamer

October 6th, 2011
11:16 am

I’m expecting Roddy to show up big time in this game, playing with the form that garner him respect with opposing teams league wide over the last 2-3 years of 1000 receiving yards, by snatching every pass that comes his way.

BUT THIS GAME WILL REST ON THE SHOULDERS OF THE FALCONS DEFENSE..

IF BABS IS HEALTHY TO RETURN THEN IT WILL BE A MAJOR LIFT FOR FALCONS DEFENSIVE UNIT…BUT IF HE’S NOT HEALTHY ENOUGH TO PLAY THEN DON’T FORCE HIS RETURN RISKING FURTHER INJURY TO KNEE. GETTING BABS BACK IN GAMES HEALTHY SHOULD BE COACHES FIRST PRIORITY.