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Can the Atlanta Falcons slow down Tennessee tight end Delanie Walker?

The Falcons cannot allow Tennessee tight end Delanie Walker have a big game Sunday.

What is it with these tight ends?

The Falcons seem to always have to deal with tight ends that become a thorn in their side. Last week it was Ben Watson, the veteran tight end for New Orleans who caught 10 passes for 127 yards.

It’s a trend. Tight ends do well against the Falcons, both this year and historically.

Dallas tight end Jason Witten caught six passes for 65 yards against the Falcons earlier in the season. Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz caught three passes for 46 yards in week one, while New York’s Larry Donnell and Houston’s C.J. Fiedorowicz also contributed to their team’s offense.

This week the Falcons will face another challenge with Tennessee tight end Delanie Walker, who is the Titans’ second-leading receiver with 244 yards on 22 catches.

Atlanta already has a mystery for Sunday’s game, wondering if rookie Marcus Mariota will miss the game. He has a sprained MCL in his left knee and did not practice Thursday. Zach Mettenberger is preparing to start for Tennessee. A final decision is expected Friday.

Of course, Falcons’ fans have nightmares about tight ends. Jimmy Graham did his share of damage to the Falcons when he was with New Orleans. Plus, San Francisco won the NFC title game a few years ago over the Falcons with a great performance from Vernon Davis. Walker was also with the 49ers that season and had a crucial catch late in the third quarter to help San Francisco’s impressive comeback.

The Falcons’ signing of Philip Wheeler earlier this week could be a factor as they defend Walker and Tennessee’s receivers.

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