Without Julio Jones and possibly without Roddy White, the Falcons will turn to wide receivers Harry Douglas, Kevin Cone and Drew Davis.
Along with tight end Tony Gonzalez, they will be counted on to carry the team’s passing attack and be on the hot seat against Tampa Bay.
With the injuries to Jones and White, Cone and Davis have received plenty of work in practice with quarterback Matt Ryan.
“It’s always good when you get extra reps with the starters,” Cone said. “The more reps you get, the more you are in sync and the more chemistry that you build. That definitely has happened this year because of injuries, and I think that will pay off.”
Cone and Davis both signed as undrafted college free agents in 2011. They made the roster in 2012 after spending a year on the practice squad.
Cone made his first NFL catch last week against the Jets. Davis caught four passes for 40 yards and a touchdown last season.
Both have starred on special teams.
“We’ve just been watching those guys, Julio, Roddy and Harry,” Davis said. “They all work real hard. The stuff that they do on Sundays, they do in practice every single day.”
Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter will tilt things toward Gonzalez, but the receivers will be counted on to make some plays.
“Those guys are well-rounded players,” Koetter said. “They just haven’t had a chance to play a whole lot. We’re going to be learning about some of their strengths as we go along.”