Roddy White's consecutive games played streak to come to an end Sunday
White has been ruled out for the Falcons' Week 7 tilt with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and it suggests that White's injury is fairly serious, as he is one of the toughest players in the NFL and had been playing through a high-ankle sprain through the first five weeks of the year.
Some believe that White pushed himself a little harder than he should have early in the season simply in an effort to keep his games played streak alive. He was used almost strictly as a decoy, catching just 2.8 passes for 25.8 yards per game (14 catches for 129 yards) through five contests. If he did indeed put the importance of his streak before his long-term health, it certainly did not pay off - he aggravated is ankle injury in Week 5. In addition, he injured his left hamstring, which could have been a result of overcompensating for his bum right ankle.
With his streak ending at 133 consecutive games played, he finishes 52 games (3.25 regular seasons) short of Tim Brown's wide receiver record of 185. Despite his well documented history of durability and playing through pain, you now have to wonder if White will be able to take the field fully healthy at any point this year. It certainly appears that it will not happen in the near future.
The Falcons will now have to go without their top two receivers - thought by many to be the premier receiver tandem in the NFL - on Sunday. Harry Douglas - who has never reached 40 catches or 500 yards in a single season - will be the No. 1 receiver for quarterback Matt Ryan. Kevin Cone (one career catch for 12 yards) and Drew Davis (four career catches for 40 yards) will round out the receiving core. Expect Ryan to rely very heavily on tight end Tony Gonzalez for two reasons: 1) He is the only truly proven pass catching option, and 2) Ryan will constantly have to use his safety blanket due to the lack of downfield playmakers.
With injuries turning the Falcons' offensive line into one of the league's worst, things are getting very messy down in Atlanta. Despite being one of the best fantasy quarterbacks a season ago, it's tough to rely on Ryan as a QB1 in his current situation.