Injury report for Thursday's Saints-Falcons clash and other NFL news

November 20, 2013

This week's Thursday night NFL game features two teams going in opposite directions, as the rejuvenated New Orleans Saints (8-2) will take on the reeling Atlanta Falcons (2-8).

The Saints' improved record this year can be traced directly to its coaching staff, as the return of head coach Sean Payton and the addition of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has made the Saints vastly better on both sides of the ball.

Having that Drew Brees guy on the roster also helps.

Brees is having another excellent year, especially considering that some of his usually reliable weapons have been banged up this season.

He ranks second in the NFL with 3,369 passing yards this season, trailing only Peyton Manning's 3,572.  Should he pass for 38 yards against Atlanta on the road Thursday night, Brees (49,288) will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon (49,325) for the fifth-most career passing yards in NFL history.

Assuming he reaches that milestone, only Brett Favre (71,838), Manning (63,059), Dan Marino(61,361), and John Elway (51,475) would rank above him.  Pretty lofty company to say the least.

Meanwhile, Atlanta has been a disaster in comparison.  After last year's playoff run, the Falcons acquired Steven Jackson to bolster their running attack and were expected to contend for a Super Bowl.

Injuries to Jackson and wideout Julio Jones, coupled with a mediocre defense and poor overall play, have left the Falcons out of contention.  Losing 41-28 last week to struggling Tampa Bay signified a new low for Atlanta.

Here is the latest injury news for both teams:


CB Jabari Greer (knee)

CB Chris Carr (hip, back, hamstring), G Jahri Evans (ankle), G Ben Grubbs (neck), DE Akiem Hicks (back), RB Darren Sproles (knee, ankle), CB Rod Sweeting (hip), S Kenny Vaccaro (concussion), DT Tyrunn Walker (knee), TE Benjamin Watson (concussion)

TE Jimmy Graham (elbow, foot), DE Cameron Jordan (ankle), G Tim Lelito (not injury related), LB Curtis Lofton (hamstring, ankle)


DE Malliciah Goodman (calf)

DT Jonathan Babineaux (tricep), QB Dominique Davis (knee), TE Tony Gonzalez (toe), S Zeke Motta (hand)

DT Peria Jerry (shoulder), RB Jacquizz Rodgers (ankle), T Jeremy Trueblood (knee, hip), LB Paul Worrilow (shoulder)

In other NFL news . . .

NFC Players of the Week

Running back Bobby Rainey of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants, and punter Donnie Jones of the Philadelphia Eagles were named today as the NFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week.

Rainey rushed for 163 yards and scored three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in the Buccaneers’ 41-28 win over Atlanta.

In the past 10 seasons, Rainey is one of only four players with at least 160 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown in a single game.

In his second season from Western Kentucky, this is Rainey’s first career Player of the Week Award.

Pierre-Paul had an interception-return touchdown and three tackles in the Giants’ 27-13 win over Green Bay.

With 10:49 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Packers looking to tie the game, JPP helped extend New York’s lead from seven to 14 points with a 24-yard pick six.

All three of Pierre-Paul’s tackles occurred within one yard or behind the line of scrimmage.

Jones punted six times and averaged 50.7 yards per punt in the Eagles’ 24-16 win over Washington.  He didn’t allow a single return yard and placed two punts inside the five-yard line, including a 70-yard punt with 3:26 remaining in the game to pin the Redskins at their own four-yard line to begin their final drive.

AFC Players of the Week

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers, linebacker Vontaze Burfict of the Cincinnati Bengals, and kicker Adam Vinatieri of the Indianapolis Colts were named AFC Offensive, Defensive, and Special Teams Players of the Week today.

Roethlisberger completed 29 of 45 passes (64.4 percent) for 367 yards with four touchdowns versus zero interceptions and a 119.4 passer rating in the Steelers’ 37-27 win over Detroit.

With the Steelers trailing 27-23 entering the fourth quarter, Roethlisberger orchestrated two fourth-quarter TD drives. It was the 29th time he led the Steelers back from a fourth quarter deficit or tie.

Burfict had a monster game, registering 15 tackles, including one tackle for a loss.  He also forced one fumble and had a fumble recovery-touchdown in the Bengals’ 41-20 win over Cleveland.

Vinatieri converted all three field-goal attempts in the Colts’ 30-27 win at Tennessee.  His three field goals of 48, 30 and 50 yards, tied for the most in the NFL in Week 11.

By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and news services

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