Roddy White spent all of last season battling injuries. The wide receiver suffered a high ankle sprain in the first preseason game for the Atlanta Falcons and things went downhill from there. Throughout the 2013 season, White had issues with his ankle and hamstrings, breaking his consecutive-starts streak of 133 games and 1,000-yard seasons. Hoping to avoid that in 2014, White is still suffering from minor issues that caused him to miss Week 3. However, the receiver is back in full swing as Atlanta is fully healthy to hit the road for Minnesota.
The Falcons had everyone available for Thursday's practice, a welcomed sight after last week when a few players got banged up in the blowout win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. An early injury report had White listed along with Harry Douglas and Devin Hester. Douglas suffered a foot injury against Tampa Bay while Hester was dealing with cramping. That left Julio Jones to man the offense and suddenly the Falcons were not looking so impressive. However, everyone is back on the field and ready to play.
"Yeah yeah, I feel good," White said, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. "If I didn't, then, you know, I wouldn't be talking to y'all right now. So, yeah, I feel good. It was kind of frustrating just going out there and watching. Every time I watch football games from the sideline, I'm kind of frustrated, you know, not being out there with my teammates and things like that. But ... I'm ready to roll."
The Falcons certainly operated fine without White in Week 3, steam rolling the Buccaneers with one of the most efficient offensive performances in team history. Getting White back against the struggling Vikings will only make Atlanta that much more dangerous. As Matt Ryan and the receivers continue to roll along, the run game is likely the only weakness.
The Falcons are currently averaging 121.3 yards per game on the ground which has them ranked 16th in the league. Last season featured the worst rushing attack in the league, averaging 77.9 rushing yards per game. Ryan is stressing that the team can really improve those numbers as both Steven Jackson and Jacquizz Rodgers split the bulk of the carries.
"That's the first thing we wanted to address," said Jacquizz Rodgers,via USA Today Sports. "We wanted to get the running game going. We know what we can do with the passing game. If we become a more balanced team, we can become a better team."
Things looked good against the Buccaneers' weak defense. Jackson and Rodgers will take most of the rushing load while Devonta Freeman and Antoine Smith split the backup roles.