The battle lines have been drawn. The Falcons have said receiver Roddy White will play, despite an ankle injury. White has said he’s 100 percent certain to play.
But multiple reports (including one from us) peg White’s availability as iffy, 20 percent at best. In response to those reports, a Falcons source insists that White will play.
White has never missed an NFL game, despite having plenty of injuries over the year.
The question, if he plays today, becomes his effectiveness. Plenty of players have tried to go with a bad ankle or other leg injury, primarily to attract attention from the opposing defense. Even if White’s presence causes the Saints on one play to keep a closer eye on him than his health would dictate, it creates a bigger opening for someone else on the offense.
Regardless, the wrinkle adds spice to a game that isn’t getting nearly the national attention it deserves. The Falcons travel to the place where they got one of their three losses last year, and the Saints now have coach Sean Payton back and a defense that can’t be any worse than it was last year, when the team still won seven games.
So when 10 of your Christmas presents simultaneously open at 1:00 p.m. ET, make sure you’re paying at least a little attention to the one with the fleur-de-lis wrapping paper.