Atlanta Falcons star tight end Tony Gonzalez suffered a toe injury in last week’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks, and he was immediately unsure of his Week 11 status. Gonzalez was held out of practice on Wednedsay and Thursday, and he barely practiced on Friday. Most players who have this as their practice status end up being ruled out, but Gonzalez is a veteran star in this league who doesn’t need to practice nearly as often as other players.
According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Falcons will make Gonzalez a game-time decision this week, and his status for today’s rivalry game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers seems to be totally up-in-the-air. What isn’t debatable is Gonzalez’s impact on the offense, as he has hauled in 47 receptions for 505 yards this season. Without him, it could be all up to Harry Douglas. Roddy White will likely be taken out of the game by Darrelle Revis, which would leave Douglas on a hodge-podge of subpar Buccaneers corners.
Rapoport reported earlier today that Douglas is expected to play, which is confirmation of our suspicions. Even though Douglas missed Thursday’s practice with a knee injury, he immediately returned on Friday and looked good enough. Due to Gonzalez’s injury, Douglas is an even more important part of the offense than usual.
The Falcons, per Rapoport, are still “encouraged” by what little practice Gonzalez was able to get in, so that’s reason for optimism. He is definitely a game-time decision and is probably best avoided in fantasy leagues (unless if you can check up his gameday status). Gonzalez probably has a better than 50-50 chance to play, though, due to some of the optimism surrounding his status.