Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan stayed behind over the bye week just in case this doomsday scenario unfolded.
With the possibility of playing his first game without Julio Jones or Roddy White, he put the remaining members of the wide receiving corps through their paces instead of getting in some bye-week recreation.
“I wish,” Ryan said, when asked if he got in any golf. “I was here.”
That extra work will come in handy as White’s string of playing in 133 consecutive games, the third-longest streak in team history, is set to end Sunday when the Falcons (1-4) face Tampa Bay (0-5) at 1 p.m. at the Georgia Dome.
White, a four-time Pro Bowler who has left hamstring and right high ankle-sprain injuries, was declared out of Sunday’s game in the official injury report, which was submitted to the NFL office Friday.
With Jones and a hobbled White, the Falcons still averaged 313 passing yards per game, which ranks second in the league.
“You have to go out there and do some things a little bit differently,” Ryan said. “We have to make sure that we are on the same page.”
White, who suffered the hamstring injury against the Jets on Oct. 7, did not at practice all week. Running back Steven Jackson (hamstring), left tackle Sam Baker (left knee) and backup tight end Chase Coffman (left knee) did not practice all week and were also declared out.
Also, the Falcons released safety Shann Schillinger on Friday and are expected to sign wide receiver Darius Johnson from the practice squad.
Jones, the team’s leading receiver, suffered a foot injury against the Jets and was placed on injured reserve.
“Those are two of the best players in the NFL,” Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said.
White, a four-time Pro Bowler, continued to play despite the high ankle sprain that he suffered against Baltimore on Aug. 15.
With Jones and White out, wide receiver Harry Douglas is ready to step into the No. 1 receiver slot.
“We are all different guys and lead in different ways,” Douglas said. “My role may increase a lot more, but I have to be Harry Douglas.”
Douglas has 16 catches for 219 yards (13.7 per catch) this season.
White has struggled to play on one good ankle. He has 14 catches for 169 yards and no touchdowns. He has not been able to make sudden moves nor sharp cuts with the high ankle sprain, and he recently said he should not have played.
White has played in every game since being selected in the first round (27th overall) of the 2005 draft.
In addition to Douglas, the Falcons have Kevin Cone, Drew Davis, newly signed Brian Robiskie and likely Johnson.
Cone, who was signed as an undrafted player from Georgia Tech in 2011, made his first NFL catch in the last game against the Jets. Davis doesn’t have a catch this season. He caught four passes for 40 yards and a touchdown last season.
Robiskie, son of assistant head coach/wide receivers Terry Robiskie, was a second-round pick in 2009 by the Browns, but has been with three teams over the past two seasons. He has played in 37 NFL games and made 14 starts.
He has caught 43 passes for 485 yards and four touchdowns.
Most consecutive games played in Falcons history
Games; Player; Seasons
155; Jeff Van Note; 1976-86
144; Todd McClure; 2001-10
133; Roddy White; 2005-13
130; Keith Brooking; 2001-08
129; Bob Whitfield; 1992-2000