Falcons guard Blalock (back) returns to practice

Falcons starting left guard Justin Blalock missed Sunday's against the Giants with a back injury.
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Falcons starting left guard Justin Blalock missed Sunday's against the Giants with a back injury.

Falcons guard Justin Blalock practiced on a limited basis Wednesday after missing the game at the Giants on Sunday with a back injury.

Blalock, the starter at left guard, said his ability to make it through a couple practices will determine if he can play on Sunday against the Bears.

“We are going to see what we are able to do with it today and it depends on how it holds up and reacts today and tomorrow,” he said before practice Wednesday.

Blalock wasn’t able to finish the game at Minnesota on Sept. 28 and didn’t participate in any practices last week.

“It was just a fluke thing, took a step funny and it just went out,” he said. “It’s possible there was maybe a slight hint towards it before but nothing to the level that happened that day.”

Blalock, 30, had his streak of consecutive regular-season starts end at 102. He had never missed a game because of injury since the Falcons selected him in the second round of the 2007 draft out of Texas.

Blalock said it “sucked” to sit out and called it a “surreal” experience to watch the Falcons play from the sidelines. But he said he had to be smart about the injury.

“Ultimately, I didn’t want to go out there and be a detriment to the team just for my own vanity,” he said. “I don’t think the streak is going to be something that goes on my tombstone or anything. There are a lot bigger things going on.”

Blalock’s games-played streak was impressive for any player, and especially for an offensive lineman who engages with opponents on virtually every play.

“Plenty of luck,” he said. “A lot of people back home praying for me. Lots of things play into it. Also taking care of your body and things like that also play a part of it. Hopefully it’s time to start another, probably lesser, streak.”

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