Tight end Alge Crumpler (knee surgery) and defensive tackle Rod Coleman (thigh surgery) have been cautiously managed in practice in order to get them on the field for the season-opener Sunday at Minnesota but to also guard against wear and tear for preservation.
Coach Bobby Petrino said Coleman had to have blood drained from his quadriceps Wednesday to relieve some swelling that arose. Coleman was able to go through a lengthy practice Thursday but he did not take a heavy dosage of reps and was ruled out of Sunday's game.
The Falcons had hoped to use Coleman in favorable situations against the Vikings — namely on passing downs.
As for Crumpler, his status could be up and down all season. Following spring surgery to repair cartilage damage and to remove debris that had caused discomfort for more than a year, the knee continues to flare up on occasion.
The frustrating development has left the team no other choice but to sit Crumpler for at least one practice a week to let things calm down so he can play on Sundays.
"He's going to be a guy we have to manage throughout the entire year," Petrino said.
"I've heard that Viking horn and seen the fireworks when they score. I know what to expect. I know it's going to be loud. It is truly one of the loudest stadiums in this league and you have to be prepared for it. There is a bit of an advantage having played there before."
The Falcons have been practicing with stadium noise blaring from loud speakers to get ready.
BY THE NUMBERS: 55 — The net weight gain from last season's offensive line (1,509) to this year (1,564).
QUOTE TO NOTE: "In my mind, I'm really trying to please my dad, if anything, because he's going to watch the game and critique me more than these coaches. I hate to go home and have to hear him tell me about how I got ran over or I missed this tackle." — Falcons safety Jimmy Williams.