Smith encouraged by Ryan's injury progress

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons coach Mike Smith is encouraged by Matt Ryan's recovery from his turf toe injury and did not rule him out of Sunday's game with the New Orleans Saints.

This season when Smith knows a player will not be available, he has announced that at his Monday press conference. When a player has a chance to play, he has given other varied designations.

It is not clear if Ryan has a first, second or third degree turf toe sprain.

"I'm not a medical guy, but I know they grade the different injuries," Smith said. "We are encouraged because we are going to get a chance to see Matt out there on Wednesday, but as far as the grade I'm not going to comment about that."

Smith is not sure if Ryan will return to practice on Wednesday.

"We're hoping to see where he's at on Wednesday," Smith said. "If he can come out and participate, he'll come out and participate."

Ryan suffered the turf toe on the first series of the Tampa Bay game on Nov. 29. He was declared inactive and did not play against Philadelphia on Sunday.