Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White is not expected to play Thursday night due to a hamstring injury which has kept the ten-year veteran out of practice all week, according to multiple media outlets.
White, 32, was thought to be in contention to start and play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday, as the veteran has previously played in games without practicing. However, this early in the season, Atlanta looks likely to err on the side of caution with their receiver, who played every snap in last Sunday's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Earlier this week, Falcons' coach Mike Smith indicated that White could still play despite his missed practice time, though that now appears unlikely. White appeared on last week's injury report after banging his knee during the team's season-opening victory over the New Orleans Saints. He was officially listed as 'Questionable' heading into Thursday night's NFC South showdown with Tampa Bay.
"It's not important for Roddy to practice," Smith said after White sat out Tuesday's practice session. "We'd like for Roddy to practice, but it's all about getting Roddy ready on a short week." Roddy White is not expected to play Thursday night.
With White set to miss out, Harry Douglas and Devin Hester will see increased workloads at the receiver position, while running backs Jacquizz Rodgers and Devonta Freeman could see bigger roles in the passing game. With Jones likely to draw extra attention from Tampa and prized free agent signing Alterraun Verner, Douglas, Hester and tight end Levine Toilolo should have some extra wiggle room to get open as Matt Ryan and the Falcons' offense looks to get back on track at home after a dismal week 2 performance at Cincinnati.
Ryan set a career-high with 448 passing yards and 3 touchdowns inside the Georgia Dome against the Saints in week 1, and Atlanta will likely turn to their passing attack once again Thursday, even without the services of White. Tampa's defensive line has been weakened by the loss of Adrian Clayborn, while Michael Johnson's status remains up in the air heading into Thursday night.
Fantasy owners who were counting on White should consider other options, including the waiver wire. Mohamed Sanu, Brian Hartline, Brian Quick, Andrew Hawkins and Steve Smith are players that may be available in most 10-12 team leagues.
Even if Roddy White does suit up Thursday, chances are he could be limited and operating in a glorified decoy role. The safe bet is to roll with an alternative option.