Dolphins Facing Wounded Birds

LB Sean Weatherspoon

The Dolphins were presented with a tough challenge for their home opener with a visit from the Atlanta Falcons. But the Atlanta team that will come to Sun Life Stadium on Sunday will be a depleted version.

To put it very mildly, the Falcons are banged up. Very banged up.

Following Sunday's 31-24 victory against the St. Louis Rams in their own home opener, the Falcons have put three starters on injured reserve — defensive end Kroy Biermann, linebacker Sean Weatherspoon and fullback Bradie Ewing.

Yes, Weatherspoon was placed on IR with the designation to return, but he's obviously out against the Dolphins.

In addition, reports are suggesting running back Steven Jackson could miss up to six weeks because of a quad/thigh injury he sustained while scoring on a 9-yard reception against the Rams, his former team.

But that's not all. Wide receiver Roddy White has been slowed so far this season by a high ankle sprain and he's got only five catches in two games so far.

He didn't practice last Wednesday or Thursday, was limited on Friday and was listed as questionable before suiting up against the Rams.

If Jackson winds up unable to go against the Dolphins, the expectation would be that Jason Snelling would take over starting duties, with third-down back Jacquizz Rodgers likely getting additional carries.

The two defensive losses actually might be bigger issues for the Falcons because this is a team without much depth defensively.

By comparison, if the Dolphins have to go without stud defensive tackle Paul Soliai against Atlanta, Miami still has two quality starters with Randy Starks and Jared Odrick and another solid backup with Vaughn Martin.

Atlanta doesn't have that luxury and is likely to feel the effects, if not Sunday, surely at some point, of the losses of Biermann and Weatherspoon.

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