- Story Highlights
- Julio Jones has 37 targets this season. Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown has 74.
Here are five things to know about the Falcons on Friday:
1. DT tackle help Falcons coach Dan Quinn has not been happy with the run defense and signed 10-year veteran Ahtyba Rubin on Thursday. The Falcons lost some girth with Courtney Upshaw’s ankle injury, Jack Crawford being lost for the season to a biceps injury and with the release of defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman after his domestic violence case was settled. Buffalo (117) and Miami (season-high 138) ran the ball successfully against the Falcons in two losses.
2. Falcons Injury report. The Falcons have added linebacker Jordan Tripp to their injury report after he entered the NFL’s concussion protocol. Head coach Dan Quinn said that all other players on the report are progressing ahead of Sunday’s game at the Patriots. Tripp, a fourth-year veteran signed on Sept. 5, has seen action on special teams in three games.
3. Patriots injury report. The Patriots injury report did not change Thursday with four starters listed in advance of Sunday’s game against the Falcons. Starting linebacker middle linebacker Elandon Roberts (ankle) and starting cornerback Stephon Gilmore (concussion/ankle) did not participate in practice and starting right guard Shaq Mason (shoulder) and starting wide receiver Chris Hogan (ribs) were limited. All four were listed asthe same in Wednesday’s report.
4. Sark talk. Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian likes the view from on high just fine, and more important, he said that when he sits upstairs and calls plays from the press box, it makes quarterback Matt Ryan happier, or at least quicker, on the field down below.
5. Jones needs more targets. The Falcons two-time first-team All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones has been targeted a modest 37 times so far, or exactly half as frequently as Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown with an NFL-leading 74. Jones missed half the Buffalo game and Atlanta has played one less game than Pittsburgh.