Falcons expect Jackson to return this week


Falcons head coach Mike Smith said he expects running back Steven Jackson to return to practice this week from a hamstring injury.

"Right now, we anticipate that Steven Jackson will be participating in practice on Wednesday," Smith said.

Jackson has been sidelined since suffering the injury in a Week 2 win over his former team, the St. Louis Rams. Jackson expressed hope to return for this past Sunday’s win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but his hamstring obviously didn't recover in time.

Smith said the doctors will determine how much Jackson practices this week. Last week, the outlook looked very good, Smith said. At the same time, Smith doesn’t expect Jackson to go through a full practice on Wednesday, so Jackson is likely to be limited upon returning.

It is not guaranteed that Jackson will be in uniform for Sunday's game at Arizona.

Without Jackson, the Falcons have gone with the combination of Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling in the backfield. Smith said the running game has to improve after Rodgers and Snelling combined for 30 yards on 15 carries against Tampa Bay.

Smith did not provide an update on wide receiver Roddy White, who missed the first game of his career this past Sunday while nursing hamstring and ankle injuries.

"I'm not going to talk about where Roddy is," Smith said. "I think we're all progressing well. We'll have to see where these guys are on Wednesday."

Left tackle Sam Baker (knee) and tight end Chase Coffman (ankle) continue to recover from injuries, while linebacker Akeem Dent (ankle) appeared to experience a setback upon returning to action this past Sunday.

Smith said he has talked to Julio Jones "daily" after the top receiver underwent season-ending foot surgery. Jones remains immobilized.