The Atlanta Falcons walked away with a 31-24 victory on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams. In the NFL, though, nothing comes easy and that lesson was driven home again as the team suffered injuries to five starters.
Among the injured was running back Steven Jackson, who was added in the offseason from the Rams. Jackson suffered a thigh injury against his former team and could miss up to two to four weeks, per ESPN. If that’s the case, look for Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling to pick up the bulk of the carries if Atlanta doesn’t go out and sign anyone.
The other injured starters were defensive end Kroy Biermann, fullback Bradie Ewing, cornerback Asante Samuel, and linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. Biermann and Ewing were placed on injured reserve with Achilles and shoulder injuries, respectively. Weatherspoon (foot injury) is on the injured reserve but designated to return list while Samuel’s status is currently unknown.
Jackson’s injury in particular would be a blow to the offense. There really aren’t any other running backs of consequence on the roster and the running game has already struggled to this point – the Falcons currently rank 26th on the ground with only 62 yards per game. It’s difficult to envision things getting much worse without Jackson … but they could. The other problem with losing Jackson is that it could make Atlanta’s offense even more pass-happy and predictable than it already is.
The severity of Jackson’s injury is what will likely determine how desperate the Falcons become. If he could be out closer to that four-week timeframe, Atlanta may have no choice but to search the waiver wire and try to bring someone else into the fold.