Injury report: Falcons to watch Nicholas’ ankle closely

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan looks over the top of the line during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan looks over the top of the line during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons may have to juggle their linebacking corps due to an ankle injury suffered by starting strongside linebacker Stephen Nicholas against Washington on Sunday.

“It was an ankle injury and Stephen tried to play. He came out there in the second half,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said on Monday. “I thought he did a nice job of trying to get back out there, but he just wasn’t able to push off. Hopefully, he’ll get to feeling better in the next couple of days.”

Nicholas played 37 of 49 (73 percent) defensive snaps against the Redskins. Akeem Dent and Robert James picked up in his absence.

Running back Antone Smith (hamstring) left the game and could not return.

Tight end Michael Palmer, who suffered a shoulder injury against San Diego on Sept. 23, is not expected to return until after the bye week.

“We are looking at probably [getting him back] for the Philadelphia game [on Oct. 28,]” Smith said.

Defensive tackle Corey Peters [stress fractured foot] is close to returning but remains on the reserve/non-football injury list.

“He’s been working with our athletic performance group on the side,” Smith said. “There will be a decision-making process in the term [physically unable to perform] from Week 6 through Week 9, where you can come off the list. That’s coming up very quickly.”

Injury reporting

The NFL is looking into whether the Washington Redskins followed the league’s injury reporting policy when they announced during the game that quarterback Robert Griffin III was “shaken up” and questionable to return on Sunday.

Griffin was diagnosed with a mild concussion and spent most of the fourth quarter in the locker room. Teams are required by the league to give accurate and timely injury information during games.

Record book check

Tony Gonzalez’ 99th touchdown reception, which came in the second quarter against Washington, tied him with Don Hutson for eighth on the NFL’s all-time touchdown reception list.

The 16-year veteran is one score shy of becoming the eighth player in league history to catch 100 touchdown passes.

Wide receivers Tim Brown and Steve Largent are next up on the list, tied with 100 touchdown catches each.

Turnovers kings

The defense sealed the win over Washington with a pair of interceptions on the Redskins’ final two possessions.

Cornerback Dunta Robinson picked off quarterback Kirk Cousins at the Falcons 36-yard line with two minutes remaining and free safety Thomas DeCoud picked off Cousins near midfield on the Redskins final drive.

Overall, the Falcons are second in the league with nine interceptions. Chicago leads the league with 13.

DeCoud’s four interceptions are tied for tops in the league with Chicago’s Tim Jennings.

Etc. …

Gonzalez had his best game since joining the Falcons in 2009. His 13 receptions and 123 yards were both his highest totals with the Falcons. … Quarterback Matt Ryan tied career-highs with 34 completions on 52 attempts. … Ryan’s 345 yard passing marked the 12th time he has thrown for more than 300 yards in a game. His 12 career 300-yard games tied Steve Bartkowski for the franchise record. Bartkowski set the mark between 1975 and 1985. … Veteran cornerback Terrence Johnson was signed to the practice squad after outperforming Bryan McCann (Southern Methodist), Prince Miller (Georgia) and Kevyn Scott (Syracuse).

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20 comments Add your comment

Creaky

October 8th, 2012
10:56 pm

I can’tay it.

Joe

October 8th, 2012
11:07 pm

It would be nice to have peters back. Go Birds

Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & Tired

October 9th, 2012
12:31 am

Looking forward to Tony Gonzalez catching his 100th touchdown catch on Sunday at the GA Dome in front of the hometown fans!!

[...] to Original Content From Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog): read more Related Articles Share About Author [...]

The Real Facon

October 9th, 2012
6:55 am

We need Stephen back. His tackling is making up for Dent’s misses.

Anderson

October 9th, 2012
8:13 am

Thanks,D-Led,for the update on DT Corey Peters. I was going to ask you about him.

I think the return of Peters can/should shore up the team’s run defense up front.

chc4

October 9th, 2012
8:31 am

Most of those big runs by Washington came with Akeem Dent on the field. He is getting pushed around. Not impressed with him at all.

North FLA Falcon

October 9th, 2012
9:03 am

Yesterday someone mentioned trying out Bierman at MLB and that might be a good plan. D McFadden is scary. Gotta wrap him up this week.

observer

October 9th, 2012
9:11 am

Dent has no business on the field except maybe special teams. Peterson is no better. As good as the Falcons are, they made a serious mistake thinking those two would be thjeir answer a MLB this year. If Nicholas misses time, they are really hurting at LB.

abby normal

October 9th, 2012
10:11 am

Akeem Dent is not good enough to start at MLB at the professional level. His real value is on special teams where he excelled last season.

Kurtis

October 9th, 2012
11:07 am

I have to agree with everyone on Akeem Dent. He’s just not getting it done. It makes it so much worse after watching Lofton the tackling machine running all over the field Sunday night for the ‘Aint’s against the Chargers.

because you're mine

October 9th, 2012
12:10 pm

haven’t heard much about Peria Jerry this year. Good or bad. Haven’t heard his number called and haven’t heard any rabid bloggers calling for his dismemberment. whazzup with PJ anyway?

old falc

October 9th, 2012
12:18 pm

A. DENT is hurting the team the speed that he plays is just to slow also Turner

Answer This

October 9th, 2012
1:03 pm

Guys lets temper the judgement on Dent….remember for the first two games he played little to none and for these last two games the coaching staff is bringing him along like he is a rookie. Its spoon feeding so we got to give hime time! He will get better but lets not throw out the baby with the bathwater! He is learning on the job and lets keep in perspective that the reason with let CL go was because of his asking price….lets look at the good of not overpaying a medicore LB for someone that we can groom into the job….and if it doesnt work then we know what to address….but lets give him a chance….5 games into starting (really 3) and lets not give up on him!

[...] Nicholas had trouble pushing off his ankle in Week 5′s game in Washington, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He’ll be closely monitored by the training staff this [...]

[...] Nicholas had trouble pushing off his ankle in Week 5′s game in Washington, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He’ll be closely monitored by the training staff this [...]

[...] Stephen Nicholas had trouble pushing off his ankle in Week 5's game in Washington, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He'll be closely monitored by the training staff this [...]

[...] Injury report: Falcons to watch Nicholas’ ankle closely [...]

[...] suffered a stress fracture to his foot during off-season workouts that currently has him on the Physically Unable to Perform list for the Falcons (per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal [...]

[...] suffered a stress fracture to his foot during off-season workouts that currently has him on the Physically Unable to Perform list for the Falcons (per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal [...]