On Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons got their first win of the 2013 NFL season against the St. Louis Rams, 31-24. This came as one of its top offensive weapons, wide receiver Roddy White, continues to not play at top form. Since mid-August, he’s been battling a high-ankle sprain, which is impairing his play.
Last week, White played but he did not contribute much with his two receptions for 15 yards. He has admitted he’s not 100 percent and leading up to Week 2, he did not practice until Friday. After being listed as questionable, the team gave him the green light to play this week and again, the player is yet to play up to par.
Sure, he looked better but only had three receptions for 21 yards–not exactly showing an improvement. With two games now in the book, it may be time to ask, when will White return to full speed?
Some sources have said, according to CBS Sports, that it could take several weeks of rest for the ankle to heal. Not helping matters is White, like many athletes, has expressed a desire to play during this time. One way to alleviate this is to have the Falcons just say no to White and not put him on the field.
But that doesn’t appear to be happening. White has the mentality of a tough guy, feeling the need to be there every Sunday because he’s a football player. Good luck trying to change this. He has said he can play but his actions suggest otherwise and only he knows how he feels.
By continuing to play on it, it will only slow down the healing process–something White should know. Fortunately for the Falcons, wide receiver Julio Jones has stepped up and in Sunday’s game, he tied a career-high of 182 yards. This included an 81-yard catch for a touchdown.
The Falcons entered the season as Super Bowl contenders and with Sunday’s win, they may be back in the conversation. Unfortunately for them, White may be the least of their worries as five players were hit by the injury bug by the end of the first half. This included fullback Bradie Ewing (shoulder), defensive end Kroy Biermann (right ankle), running back Steven Jackson (thigh), linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (foot) and cornerback Asante Samuel (thigh).
With the loss of Jackson, the team will continue utilizing its passing game, which should cause White to have even less patience. Given the fact it’s been about a month since he hurt his ankle, he’s likely on the mend. However, if the team was smart, it would again keep its eye diligently on the prize like last season and keep White out as long as possible so he’s fresh later in the season–when they’ll really need him.