Douglas' injury throws off Falcons' plans

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

What once was a position of strength for the Atlanta Falcons suddenly has become a problem spot.

The news Thursday morning that wide receiver Harry Douglas is out for the season is devastating. It comes as Roddy White's contract holdout has no apparent end in sight. The Falcons had big plans for Douglas.

He was working with the first team in White's absence. Even if White returned, Douglas was going to be no worse than a very active third receiver. Now, the Falcons don't really have a first or third receiver.

If they had to play a game right now, the starters presumably would be Michael Jenkins and Brian Finneran. Those two are nice possession guys, but neither can stretch the field.

This is an opportunity for guys like Eric Weems, Chandler Williams and Troy Bergeron to step up. But those guys are candidates for the fourth or fifth receiver spots. The Falcons may have to look outside for more help at receiver and there's more need than ever to get White's situation resolved quickly.

Also, the Douglas injury really messes with the plans for the return game. The Falcons wanted Douglas to handle much of the return duties. This could put a bigger return load on running back Jerious Norwood.