Falcons wide receiver Roddy White returned to practice Friday and will be a “game-time decision” for Sunday’s game.
He missed the past two games, but could be available when the Falcons (2-5) face the resurgent Carolina Panthers (4-3) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.
“I felt good,” said White, who’s trying to come back from hamstring and ankle injuries. “It was my first time getting back out there, so I wanted to test it out and see how it is. It went well. I ran some routes. I did some things that are in the game plan.”
White was the last player out of the locker room and sprinted onto the field to the cheers of “Roddy, Roddy!” from some his teammates.
“Those guys are funny, and they want me to get out there and help them,” White said.
He was watched closely during the 35-minute practice.
“We’ll evaluate him pregame in terms of where he is and a couple of the other guys as well,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “He looked good.”
White suffered a right high ankle sprain in the exhibition season against Baltimore on Aug. 15. He played in the first five games this season, but had trouble cutting. On one good ankle he managed only 14 catches for 129 yards and no touchdowns.
He suffered the hamstring injury late against the New York Jets on Oct. 7 and hasn’t practiced since.
White, a first-round pick in 2005, played in 133 consecutive games before missing the Tampa Bay game Oct. 20.
“It was tough because when you are sitting out there on the sidelines watching and trying to help the guys out and coach them up and things like that. … it’s kind of frustrating,” White said.
Linebacker Stephen Nicholas (thigh) was declared out for Sunday’s game.
Running back Jason Snelling (ankle), defensive tackle Peria Jerry (toe) and offensive lineman Joe Hawley (elbow) fully participated Friday after being limited Wednesday and Thursday.
Linebacker Akeem Dent (ankle) and guard Garrett Reynolds (knee) also fully participated. Snelling, Jerry, Hawley, Dent and Reynolds are all probable for the game.
Offensive tackle Sam Baker (knee), safety William Moore (hip), defensive end Osi Umenyiora (right knee) and White were limited Friday and are questionable for the game.
Trufant ready for Smith: Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant fresh off defending the great Larry Fitzgerald, will see Carolina’s Steve Smith at times Sunday.
He was aware of Smith’s recent eruption after the Panthers beat St. Louis, when Smith called second-year cornerback Janoris Jenkins “just another dude.”
Snith apparently didn’t like Jenkins doing a Deion Sanders-like dance or making comments about his personal life.
“It’s a fight regardless of who you are going against,” Trufant said. “Every play is a fight. It’s a full-contact sport.”
Etc.: Only four teams since 1933 have made the playoffs after starting 2-5, according to STATS, LLLC. Two of those squads squeaked in at 8-8, including the Tim Tebow-led 2011 Denver Broncos. … Wide receiver Harry Douglas has 35 catches for 489 yards. He’s on pace for career-highs of 80 catches and 1,117 yards receiving. … Running back Steven Jackson has posted eight consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons. With only 83 yards, he must average 101.8 yards per game over the final nine games to extend his streak.