With the Atlanta Falcons battling injuries across their defense, head coach Mike Smith will have to lean on third-year pro Spencer Adkins to start at outside linebacker with Stephen Nicholas and Mike Peterson out. Adkins will still have his responsibilities on special teams, but seems up to the task for Atlanta.
"I’ve been ready," Adkins said. "I’ve been watching these guys that I’ve been behind. I’ve learned from them. I have just been preparing myself for this time."
Here is the full injury report for the Falcons in week 17:
DE John Abraham (not injury related) LP
TE Tony Gonzalez (not injury related) LP
C Todd McClure (not injury related) LP
CB Brent Grimes (knee) LP
DE Ray Edwards (knee) DNP
WR Harry Douglas (groin, shoulder) LP
WR Julio Jones (ankle) LP
TE Reggie Kelly (back) LP
LB Curtis Lofton (ankle) LP
WR Kerry Meier (groin) DNP
LB Stephen Nicholas (toe) DNP
CB Chris Owens (hand) FP
TE Michael Palmer (knee) LP
T Will Svitek (groin) FP
RB Michael Turner (groin) LP
LP: Limited participation in practice
FP: Full participation
DNP: Did not practice
For more on the Falcons check out The Falcoholic, SB Nation's Atlanta Falcons blog. For more on the Bucs check out Bucs Nation, SB Nation's Tampa Bay Buccaneers blog. For more on the NFL, check out the SB Nation NFL hub page.