Smith shoots down report, says Ryan will play if ready

Matt Ryan missed practice Thursday and likely will miss his second straight game

Matt Ryan likely sit out again with turf toe.

A blog on NFL.com suggests that Matt Ryan’s status for Sunday’s game against New Orleans hinges on more than just his health and readiness for the game. Specifically, the report referenced the Falcons’ banged up offensive line. An excerpt:

“The availability of RG Harvey Dahl (ankle) and LT Sam Baker (elbow) could be the final factor in determining if Ryan suits up for a make-or-break game against the NFC South champions at the Georgia Dome, a team source said. Both players, along with Ryan, sat out last Sunday’s loss to the Eagles.”

I was stunned when I read this. My first thought — and I’d imagine your first thought – was: If Ryan is healthy enough to play, he should play. I don’t care if five guys from the Waffle House are blocking. I don’t care if everybody thinks the playoff race is dead.

Mike Smith agrees. The Falcons’ coach didn’t know about the story. He immediately dismissed it, saying Ryan will play when he’s ready and reaffirmed that the line’s health is not a factor.

“If Matt is healthy and he’s at the level where we feel he can be effective, he will play,” Smith said. “Our decision will be based on that.”

For the record, Ryan doesn’t at all strike me as the kind of athlete who wants to sit out any game. I don’t say that about everybody. Normally, I wouldn’t even bring this subject up, but the NFL.com report prompted the question.

Now, all of that said, it would be stunning if Ryan’s turf toe has healed enough that he’ll be in the lineup Sunday. Smith wasn’t obliged to give an official injury report Thursday. Technically he doesn’t have to make the call until game time. But Ryan participated in only morning walk-throughs Wednesday and Thursday, which means he didn’t put significant weight on the injury. So expect Chris Redman for another week.

129 comments Add your comment

robertussen

December 10th, 2009
3:15 pm

jtwillis

December 10th, 2009
3:21 pm

Houston being gone is all feh, but Ryan being out is all NOOOOOO!!!!!! We need to knock these cocky Saints off their high horse like the Bears did a few seasons back.

robertussen

December 10th, 2009
3:22 pm

i hope ryan is healthy we need this one. im not too proud to say the saints are the best team this year and it will be hard to beat them. we have to remember we are only in year 2 of a complete rebuild and the depth just isnt there yet. the injuries have hurt us badly this year and with no one to step up what you gonna do we will be an elite team by year 4 hopefully but will be a playoff team any year as long as we stay healthy

TMoney

December 10th, 2009
3:24 pm

As much as I know we need Ryan, I’d almost feel better if the Falcons shut him down for the rest of the year. He and Turner both, I don’t want their long term health risked at this point.

Realistically, I think Ryan sits this week and Turner plays. I expect Ryan to give it a go against the Jets, but I really don’t think that’s the best idea.

Roderick Moore

December 10th, 2009
3:27 pm

Ending the Saints’ streak would be sweet. Hope the whole team is crazy stoked to do it.

Sonny Clusters

December 10th, 2009
3:29 pm

Clusters was always ready to play but Clusters never had turf toe. When a toe turns turf toe it gets real green and wiry like turf. It’s not pretty. Hopping around with turf toe won’t help this team win. We think Matt should get completely healthy and pink-toed before he plays again.

Tom Dempsey

December 10th, 2009
3:29 pm

I kicked 60+ yard field goals without toes…..what’s the problem?

Sonny Clusters

December 10th, 2009
3:31 pm

Why is one line offensive and another not? Harvey Dahl has bad manners and does not bathe. That’s like Stinky Wintes used to be and he was the most offensive lineman we ever met.

pilgrim

December 10th, 2009
3:42 pm

So the deciding factor is “effectiveness?” There’s a bunch of us fans scratching our heads over that, sure enough.

Peachtree John

December 10th, 2009
3:49 pm

So, let’s do some planning ahead. Coach Smith will make the decisions on who to play and who not to play. It is important to let these guys heal and be ready for next year.
The bright(?) side is that we will keep our record of not having back to back winning seasons in tact. We get a better draft choice.
And how about the importance of drafting or trading for a capable back up quarterback? Needs addressing. Not to mention the continued drafting of winners on defense and offense.
The big picture is to build a team that can plug players in and continue to win. It will take some time. Hopefully or QB can survive that long. Eh, Randy Johnson, Steve?

humble(1)

December 10th, 2009
3:50 pm

Sit him down for one more week. I have to say we will lose a game before we step on the field but this game may already be over. Banged up o-line, no Turner, now no Chris Houston. Don’t push Matt back, let him get healthy and live to fight another day. We don’t want this to be a prolonged injury that could effect the rest of his career. Sit Him.

SOUTH GA BIRD FAN

December 10th, 2009
3:52 pm

Sit him out the playoffs are not happening we still have a realistic chance at 8-8 thats all no 9-7 no run the table for 10-6 , I have been a suffering falcon fan for too long to expect that . lets sit the injured get everybody well for next year hope for a productive draft and shoot for playoffs next year .
of course play them all if they are healthy Ryan included but most of these injuries Toe and ankles will more than likely linger the rest of this injury infested year.
I will still be cheering every down even if we have to play norwood at quarterback and white at corner there is no fair weather in this fan.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tucker T

December 10th, 2009
3:55 pm

I don’t have a problem with him sitting out even if he is healthy enough to play if the offensive line is not going to be able to protect him. I would hate to see him play and get killed like Redman did last week. Gotta focus on the long term and sending a less than 100% Ryan out there with a substandard offensive line is not smart.

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 10th, 2009
3:55 pm

Man, Smitty & Company will go through great lengths to cover up the obvious…………

“And the Oscar for best performance goes to………” :)

Everybody and their mother knows that the CHOKE is faking the injury to save face.

Give me a break! It’s a major coincident that he was out vs the Eagles, but now he is ready to go less than 24 hours later………

IT’S A MIRACLE……..IT’S A MIRACLE…………IT’S A MIRACLE :)

Bat Masterson

December 10th, 2009
3:55 pm

The source was probably that Vick jockstrap sniffer, “Matt Choke Ryan.”

Bat Masterson

December 10th, 2009
3:57 pm

HaHaHa, speak of the devil.

Choke is a joke

December 10th, 2009
4:01 pm

Matt “Choke” Ryan

December 10th, 2009
3:55 pm

Man, Smitty & Company will go through great lengths to cover up the obvious…………

“And the Oscar for best performance goes to………” :)

Everybody and their mother knows that the CHOKE is faking the injury to save face.

Give me a break! It’s a major coincident that he was out vs the Eagles, but now he is ready to go less than 24 hours later………

IT’S A MIRACLE……..IT’S A MIRACLE…………IT’S A MIRACLE :)

Look, the idiot’s back!

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 10th, 2009
4:03 pm

But seriously guys, the birds have not beaten a team with a winning record all season, with the CHOKE, i.e New England, Saints, Cowboys, Giants, etc., so why is Hell does it matter if he plays now :)

CHOKE, Redman or Ryan Leaf – doesn’t matter much.

Mora Sr.

December 10th, 2009
4:06 pm

Play….offs,Play…..offs,The Falcons can’t even beat their way out of a paper bag!

Terry Bradshaw

December 10th, 2009
4:07 pm

Mora Sr.

December 10th, 2009
4:06 pm
Play….offs,Play…..offs,The Falcons can’t even beat their way out of a paper bag!

NO THAT’S FUNNY!

Coach Killer

December 10th, 2009
4:08 pm

Matty Ice is costing Smith & Dimotroff their jobs.

Dennis Green

December 10th, 2009
4:10 pm

The Falcons are who we thought they were!

We let them off the hook!

Ryan is Crying

December 10th, 2009
4:10 pm

I guess the rest of the league found out that I SUCK just like all you Falcon fans out there!

Short Term Memory

December 10th, 2009
4:10 pm

Here is the thing people – the saints went 8-8 last year. Yes 8-8 – and last place in the division. This year with a few really nice free agency pick-ups on D, they are 12-0. We are in the same boat. We need to address corner and safety. We need a veteran safety and a shutdown corner, and we will be back on top. It’s that simple. We had a brutal schedule which included playing 4 teams coming off their bye. We had no plan at corner, but we got lucky and picked up Brian Williams. This year we need to spend money in our secondary, and not go so cheap.
Also it would be nice if Harry Douglas or some other receiver emerged.

Matt Ryan (Gillette Commerical)

December 10th, 2009
4:12 pm

My face takes enough of a beating. That’s why I use Dr. Scholls, because it’s specially formulated to heal turf toe.

robertussen

December 10th, 2009
4:12 pm

if it were up to matt he would have played vs the eagles, who was his favorite team growing up, there is nothing like showing up your childhood idol but its not his decision the training and med staff have to clear him first and if they say ok he would play with one leg and the football taped to a nub where his arm once was THIS KID IS FOR REAL

e.b.

December 10th, 2009
4:12 pm

If Ryan & Turner don’t play, Falcons don’t win. IT’S THAT SIMPLE!

Hamp from Tuscaloosa

December 10th, 2009
4:14 pm

I thought I would never see the day when I really, really wanted Chris Houston to play now he is out. He is a very good coverage corner but he doesnt get his head around. bigger recievers see the ball and go get it on him. If grimes was 3 inches taller he would be a beast. Almost is never enough. I like the live to fight another day approach I would give as many young guys playing time in games that get away they have got to grow. But Smitty has to much pride for that and I think I like it!

Herm Edwards

December 10th, 2009
4:15 pm

You play to win the game!!!

Get your sorry 72 million dollar butt on the field!

Gay Yankee

December 10th, 2009
4:15 pm

Aurther, Thomas, and Coach Smith go to great lengths covering up the fact Ryan will not play unless he has a healthy offensive line. Newsflash Ryan sucks and will be embarassing just like Redman was last week.

Chris(Rell)

December 10th, 2009
4:16 pm

If Ryan’s ready he should play, but if not just sit him. I dont think we will win this sunday even though we normally beat the Aint’s in the Dome. We may finish 8-8 this year. Before we lost to the Panthers I thought it was a real chance we could go 10-6. But we still cant beat teams we are suppose to beat.

The Aint’s will most likely beat use unless a different Aint’s team shows up. Now the Jets game looks like an even match up, the Bills have been playing a little better but we should beat them. And Tampa played us tough in the Dome. That game may end up being a challenge.

robertussen

December 10th, 2009
4:16 pm

the idiots are back talking the trash of a city that doesnt deserve a nfl team. i hope mr balnk takes the falcons from you atlanta they deserve better ATL THE WORST FANS IN THE NFL

Flying Ryan

December 10th, 2009
4:18 pm

Ryan might BLOW A FEW but he won’t CHOKE ON THE BIG ONES!

Matty Ice

December 10th, 2009
4:19 pm

You dudes hurt my feelings last Sunday. How do you think it feels to hear the fans chanting WE WANT VICK, WE WANT VICK? That really hurts dog gonit. I’m the NEW FACE OF THE FRANCHIS DAMMIT!

JSS

December 10th, 2009
4:29 pm

Choke…
Remember my message? Your points about the Falcons futility against winning teams should be what real fans and observers take note of… Unfortunately, they start on the same ole rants…

MV#777

December 10th, 2009
4:35 pm

All during the week of practice, Andy Reid told Vick he would score two touchdowns against his former team in this emotional cauldron.

Vick played along. Why not? That would be fine with him.

“We’re always saying things about what we’re going to do and stuff,” said Vick, who didn’t have to add that much of the time those things don’t happen.

Everything happened yesterday, though. The crowd greeted him with a mixture of cheers and boos, even when he scored a touchdown on a quarterback draw on the first drive of the third quarter.

But as the game got out of hand, heading toward a 34-7 blowout win for the Eagles, the most rabid of Atlanta fans exited the building, leaving behind only Eagles fans and locals nostalgic for better days. That’s when the chant began.

“We want Vick. We want Vick.”

Even Reid, usually more phlegmatic than dramatic, couldn’t ignore the moment and Donovan McNabb came off the field after the first play of the Eagles’ first fourth-quarter drive. Vick came on and, as if he had written the script himself, drove the team to a touchdown, finishing it off with a pass to Brent Celek on a misdirection play.

“When I heard the chants, it made chills go down my spine. It let me know that people here do appreciate what I’ve done and what I’m able to do moving forward,” Vick said.

It was the first time Vick ran for a touchdown and threw for a touchdown in the same regular season game since September 2006. The cheers from that day in the Georgia Dome faded away long ago, replaced by the crashing sound that accompanied Vick’s long fall from grace.

“Everyone deserves a second chance, no matter what happens,” McNabb said, “and I think he’s relishing the moment right now.”

The Eagles are relishing their own moment, too. They have won three straight games and are positioned for a decent run in the playoffs. The offense has kept going despite the loss of Brian Westbrook and the jumbled nature of the offensive line.

As the games grow more important, it will be interesting to find out if Vick will be a regular contributor now, and not just the strange cameo player he has been. It could be that Reid planned to give Vick his day in Atlanta, maybe in reparation for his scant use elsewhere, or it could be that some invisible corner has been turned.

“We’ve got things in” the offense for Vick, Reid said. “It’s easier when you’ve got a little flow going in the offense. There’s not a set number of plays. We see how things go with a game. If we feel it’s the right time, we put him in there.”

This has been a strange trip for Vick, from Falcon to jailbird to Eagle. Anyone would be changed by it, although neither the most ardent supporter nor the most cynical critic can know for sure if Vick’s words now are sincere or contrived.

“I want this to be an inspiring story for a lot of kids – that things may happen, but you have to persevere, have to overcome adversity and continue to make strides day in, day out, week in, week out, year to year,” Vick said. “If you keep pressing forward, good things happen to you, but you have to believe in yourself. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.”

Well, that much we know is true. It has been a long time. Atlanta team owner Arthur Blank walked to the middle of the field during warm-ups yesterday for a very public embrace of Vick. Just over two years ago, Blank told the public that Vick lied to him and instructed the team’s lawyers to sue Vick in an attempt to recover almost $20 million in salary.

All of that seemed forgotten yesterday, and a cheering football stadium is a long way from solitary confinement. Vick’s time in Leavenworth was only the first stage of his purgatory. The second stage is this season, as he has endured the publicity that came with his return, and as he has waited for something good to happen on a football field.

He got all of that yesterday in a scenario made for him. A return to Atlanta, against a banged-up football team incapable of staying close. An opportunity for Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg to make all the bother seem worthwhile.

“I’m proud of Mike. He’s had one coming to him,” Mornhinweg said.

Maybe so, maybe not. That view depends on the viewer. To some, his sins are forgiven. To some, his sins are unforgivable.

“Who cares about what happened in the past?” Vick said.

He was talking about the games earlier this season when he didn’t do much, but it is a question that covers a lot of ground for Vick. Does what happened in the past still matter for Michael Vick?

The real answer to that is for the future to decide. But this much is certainly true: It didn’t matter yesterday in Atlanta. Not even a little bit.

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 10th, 2009
4:36 pm

JSS

December 10th, 2009
4:29 pm
Choke…
Remember my message? Your points about the Falcons futility against winning teams should be what real fans and observers take note of… Unfortunately, they start on the same ole rants…

“Because deep down” they are embarrassed because the “HOPE” is in reality a big “JOKE”. They are living in denial.

"Choke" is a Troll

December 10th, 2009
4:40 pm

“Choke” is illiterate.

MV#777

December 10th, 2009
4:40 pm

THANKYOU CHOKE……..

MV#777

December 10th, 2009
4:45 pm

C
H
O
K
E
!
!
!

jerry

December 10th, 2009
4:48 pm

For those concerned about the stench level left over from the Eagles game, it has not dissipated. Gas masks on sale at the gate.

DJ Sniper

December 10th, 2009
4:48 pm

Can somebody tell me why the village idiot hasn’t been permanently banned?? He is quite pathetic. Notice how he was going on and on earlier this season about how the Falcons should have drafted Joe Flacco instead of Matt Ryan. Well, Flacco seems to be going through his own sophomore slump, so he’s had to make up some new nonsense to pollute these blogs.

At any rate. I’m up in the air about Ryan for this Sunday. I would like for him to play and give us our best chance to beat the Saints, but not at the expense of his long term availability for the future. Maybe Redman bounces back from last week’s performance and has a decent game. If we can get our running game back on track, that will help a lot.

Also, I’ve read other blogs and seen people giving Thomas Dimitroff a lot of grief for not re-signing Dominique Foxworth. I guess those people haven’t watched a lot of Ravens games this season, because Foxworth is not having a great year. He got faked out pretty bad on a TD pass against Green Bay on Monday.

jarvis

December 10th, 2009
4:50 pm

Has Mark Bradley been fired?

FoxNoise.net

December 10th, 2009
4:56 pm

I’ve been a Falcons fan since 1976, I LOVE THEM, but at 6-6 they’re not serious playoff contenders anymore. Don’t risk Ryan’s or anyone else’s future by pushing them out on the field before they’re ready.

Herschel Talker

December 10th, 2009
4:57 pm

No chance he plays.

Hillbilly Deluxe

December 10th, 2009
5:09 pm

I don’t care if five guys from the Waffle House are blocking.

What Waffle House are you going to, Jeff? What about 5 of Sonny’s ol’ buddies from the DQ?

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 10th, 2009
5:15 pm

Last year, after a schedule of:

- Detroit

- Kansas City

- St. Louis

- Oakland

All of you guys were praising the Dimitroff/Smith team was brilliant and a New England dynasty, but we all know with a schedule that weak, even a AA team could look good.

Now fast forward to 2009, when they have to play against a “True” NFL schedule, they nut up like the LOSERS that they are. They run around like a whole chicken coop with their heads chopped off.

I mean it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize you don’t cut your entire defensive leadership to save a few bucks, and think that an already weak defense would magically become New England without the personnel.

That whole NEW FRANCHISE project has been a failure. The talk around the blogs was that the Mora/McKay era was a total disaster and how much more classy and proficient the new regime would be, yet 2 years into the project, they are as worse off as they were prior to the new regime’s arrival.

At least the last regime can say they took the franchise to the championship game in the very 1st season and with this regime they cannot take claim to that accomplishment, even though they have had twice the amount of time.

Every single team in the NFC have gone through the traditional “Last to First” for the decade, until the new regime broke that trend last year, by not going from “last to first”. They also broke the Falcons trend of being the 1st team in the decade by going 1 and done in the playoffs.

Now, take last week end, when the New Face of the franchise, in the game that would stamp his legacy and remove all memories of the old Franchise Quarterback, he wasn’t up to the challenge, and decided he would rather leave his teammates out to dry, rather than take the risk of being EMBARRASSED by the old Franchise quarterback.

That is not a Franchise Quarterback, and that is not a leader. For all of the above mentioned, this regime is a TOTAL BUST.

whodat70816

December 10th, 2009
5:17 pm

The Saints Defense is banged up. Our top CBs are out at least until playoffs and may not even be ready by then. I would much rather see the Saints lose to Atlanta Sunday than to risk bringing these guys back too soon.

I believe our Saints will take Atlanta, but I think it will be another close game with our Defense so banged up.

I guess my point is, a win is not as important as getting your stars healthty…at least in my book. But I guess that’s easy for me to say because my team has already clinched a playoff spot.

GEAUX SAINTS

dawg fan 4 life

December 10th, 2009
5:29 pm

This Fxxxxxx team sucks in a bad way. The so call GM has done a horrible job since he’s been here. Where is the Defensive Secondary these guys are horrible at best and we knew this during preseason. I’m really tired of being a fan of these jokers, but I can’t find myself cheering for another team. Can anyone tell me why John Abraham is wearing a ski mask on sunday’s, because he’s robbing us the fans and the franchise.

Jeff Schultz

December 10th, 2009
5:44 pm

Hillbilly – I haven’t seen the DQ’s 5-deep roster.