Found November 07, 2013 on Fox Sports South:
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. After missing the last three games, Falcons wide receiver Roddy White expects to return to action on Sunday when Atlanta hosts NFC-leading Seattle at the Georgia Dome."I'm pretty sure I'm going to be out there on Sunday, White said on Thursday. "... I'll be ready to play.The four-time Pro-Bowler will return just in time to renew a personal rivalry with Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, one of the best in the league -- at playing the game and at trash-talking. During the Falcons' 30-28 victory over the Seahawks last January in an NFC Divisional playoff game, White victimized Sherman for a 47-yard touchdown catch then went over to Sherman to see if he wanted to do more talking. The verbal duel continued in the offseason.White said he doesn't circle any games on the calendar, but he at least admitted he is glad to be available when going up against Sherman."Yeah, absolutely, how I felt at the beginning of the season to right now is totally different, White said. "It's going to be a battle out there. I'm excited. I'm excited.The franchise's all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards, White has been held to 14 catches for 129 yards and no touchdowns, as a high-ankle sprain he suffered in the preseason limited him in the team's first five games. A hamstring injury he suffered in Week 5 against the New York Jets caused him to sit out the next three games, even after the Falcons had their bye week.In that game against the Jets on Oct. 7, wide receiver Julio Jones, who was leading the NFL in receptions and all wide receivers in receiving yards at the time, also suffered a season-ending injury. The Falcons (2-6), who advanced to the NFC Championship Game last season, have gone 1-2 with both White and Jones out of the lineup.After downing winless Tampa Bay 31-23 on Oct. 20, the Falcons have dropped back-to-back games to Arizona and Carolina, as quarterback Matt Ryan has thrown seven interceptions combined in those games. It has been different for Ryan with Jones and White out.The regular No. 3 wide receiver Harry Douglas has been elevated to the No. 1 role with second-year player Drew Davis and undrafted rookie Darius Johnson, signed off the practice squad, having moved into the Nos. 2 and 3 roles, respectively. Davis has seven catches for 103 yards and a touchdown and Johnson also has seven receptions for 74 yards.In the interim, tight end Tony Gonzalez has been relentlessly double-teamed, reducing his effectiveness. He has caught 11 passes for 137 yards in the last three games.White said he never imagined the Falcons' record would be what it is."We've had opportunities to win a lot of games. You go back and look at the game film, you're one play away here, you're two plays here from changing this thing and being over .500, but you get what you earn in this league, he said. "We didn't finish these games how we wanted to and that's the difference between this year and last year ... We haven't finished and haven't found ways to win games. Video: Fantasy Fox: Top 5 Quarterbacks For Week 10White sounded as if he could have played last Sunday but said several times that he wanted to go through an entire week of practice before returning to game action.Head coach Mike Smith noted one day earlier that White's participation in the Wednesday practice represented the first time in the regular season in which White had participated in that day's session, when the team begins to install its game plan for the week.White said that he can plant and cut, which has not been the case all season. He said when he played earlier in the season it was through considerable pain and because he could not practice all week he would get fatigued late in games.When he was inactive against Tampa Bay, it was the first time in his career when he missed a game, ending a streak of 133 consecutive games -- one of the longest active streaks in the league at the time."I'll be better than I was Week 2 or Week 3 because I can get out there and get through a whole practice, White said. "That was my biggest thing. I wanted to go through a whole practice and run around and run routes against the guys and do everything It tells you if you can play 30, 40, 50, 60 snaps through the whole game.
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