Falcons QB Matt Ryan Remains Hobbled by Ankle Sprain


FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) – Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was a limited participant in practice Wednesday and it is uncertain if he will start at New Orleans.

A sprained right ankle forced Ryan to miss his first game since 2009, snapping a streak of 163 consecutive starts, when Atlanta lost to Seattle two weeks ago.

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“I’m feeling a little bit better every day,” Ryan said. “When you have something like this, you just try and focus on daily improvement and trying to get back to yourself as fast as possible.”

Coming off a bye week, the Falcons (1-7) returned to practice as they prepare to face the Saints (7-1) on Sunday. Ryan is trying to help his teammates stay focused on preparing for this game and not try to salvage the season in one week.

Atlanta is riding a six-game losing streak, its longest since coach Dan Quinn’s first season in 2015.

“It’s trying to win one football game,” he said. “That’s my approach this week. It’s trying to stay present in what we’re doing right now, trying to make sure we put in a good week of work and win this one football game and then try to knock those wins out one in a row as we go. But my focus really isn’t any further than the opponent we have this week.”

If Ryan can’t play, Matt Schaub will make his second straight start. Schaub set a single-game franchise record with 39 completions against the Seahawks and finished with 460 yards passing, one touchdown and one interception.

Cornerback Desmond Trufant (toe), right guard Jamon Brown (foot), left guard James Carpenter (knee), left guard Wes Schweitzer (head) and tight end Jaeden Graham (knee) were limited in practice. Running back Ito Smith (neck) and defensive end John Cominsky (ankle) did not participate.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.