Strategy And Personnel

The Sports Xchange

December 27, 2018 at 1:43 am.


–RB Tevin Coleman strained his groin on Sunday. He will participate in the walk-through on Thursday before they decide whether he will play.

–WR Julio Jones (hip) continues to play through injuries. He received treatment during the game for the problematic ailment last week. Jones is expected to play on Sunday.

–CB Desmond Trufant (ankle) is still being bothered by the injury, but should play. He was limited last week and withheld from one practice, but wound up playing.

–WR Calvin Ridley tied a franchise rookie record for most receiving touchdowns. He has nine touchdowns, which ties him with Junior Miller, a mark set in 1980. His 789 receiving yards leads all NFL rookies.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: A lot was expected out of CB Isaiah Oliver when the team picked him in the second round. An ankle injury in training camp slowed his start, but lately he’s shown why the team had such faith in the Colorado product. After being inactive for the first two games, Oliver has had some nice moments. He had eight tackles against the Bengals, seven against the Redskins and Packers and last week earned his first career interception against the Panthers.

Head coach Dan Quinn said the biggest improvement for Oliver – who left school after his junior season – has come at the line of scrimmage.

“You see him staying comfortable down there where it’s not always the easiest position to play when you’re playing corner and you’re responsible for the deep third,” Quinn said.

Quinn said the staff challenged Oliver to commit to the extra work in practice. He accepted and has produced as expected.

“We’re encouraged about where he’s heading,” Quinn said. “We knew he had good ball skills.”

GAME PLAN: It isn’t known whether running back Tevin Coleman will be able to play this week because of a groin injury. Unless backup Brian Hill can come up with another 100-yard game like he did against Carolina, it may be up to quarterback Matt Ryan and his group of receivers to carry the day. Last week he threw touchdowns to each member of the Big Three (Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley). That may be bad news for the Bucs, who rank 29th in the NFL is passing yards allowed per game.

–Falcons WR Julio Jones vs. Buccaneers Andrew Adams. Look for Jones to challenge the Bucs deep. He’s averaged 119.8 and 7.1 receptions in 13 games against Tampa Bay, with 10 catches for 144 yards in their first meeting this season. That means Adams will likely be called on to help in coverage. He’s already intercepted a team-high three passes and been credited with seven passes defended.

–Falcons DT Grady Jarrett vs. Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston. Jarrett is one of three players with a team-leading six sacks and he’s recorded 14 QB hits. Winston threw for 336 yards last week in a loss at Dallas in one of his better games. But the Bucs have had trouble protecting him; Winston has been sacked 26 times this season, 12 of them over the last four weeks. Jarrett was injured and did not play against the Bucs in October.