Friday, November 15, 2013
Gonzalez hobbled; Weatherspoon to start
By Vaughn McClure
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, who missed the past two days of practice with a toe injury, returned to the field Friday and is questionable for Sunday’s matchup against Tampa Bay.
Gonzalez injured a toe on his left foot during last Sunday’s 33-10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. He appeared to be a bit hobbled when he walked through the locker room on Friday but gave the thumbs up. His participation in Friday’s practice was limited.
Gonzalez hasn’t missed a game since the 2006 season with the Kansas City Chiefs. The Falcons gave the 37-year-old tight end most of training camp off to prepare his body for the regular season.
If Gonzalez is unable to go, rookie Levine Toilolo and veteran Chase Coffman would have to contribute at tight end. Both Toilolo and Coffman spent extra time following Friday’s practice working on their route-running while being defended by linebacker Sean Weatherspoon.
Wide receiver Harry Douglas also returned to the field Friday after missing Thursday’s practice with a knee injury. Head coach Mike Smith said Douglas should be ready to go Sunday.
Weatherspoon, recently activated from injured reserve after suffering a Week 2 Lisfranc foot sprain, will be in the starting lineup against the Buccaneers after practicing all week. He is expected to start alongside undrafted rookie linebackers Paul Worrilow and Joplo Bartu, if the Falcons open the game in their base defense.
The only Falcons player ruled out for Sunday’s game was rookie defensive end Malliciah Goodman, who was sidelined all week with a calf injury.