Thursday, September 22, 2011
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Gwinnett Daily Post
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) is sacked by Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Trent Cole (58) in the first half of an NFL football game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
FLOWERY BRANCH -- Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan was limited in practice Wednesday after taking a pounding against Philadelphia, but he'll be ready to go when the Falcons take on NFC South rival Tampa Bay.
Ryan was listed as having a knee injury. He would only say he feels about normal for the middle of the week after a physical game.
"You're still a little sore, but I'll be good to go and ready to roll on Sunday," he said.
The Falcons (1-1) need to do a better job protecting Ryan, who's already been sacked nine times and hit 17 more times. Help might be on the way.
Longtime center Todd McClure returned to the practice field for the first time since undergoing minor knee surgery late in the preseason.
McClure got in limited work and the team hopes he'll be ready to return against the Buccaneers. He had made 144 consecutive starts for the Falcons before his injury.
"It was great to have Todd back," coach Mike Smith said. "Obviously we missed his leadership out there the first two games."
Two players were held out of practice: defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (knee) and nickel back Kelvin Hayden (hamstring). Babineaux was hurt in the opener and didn't play against the Eagles. Hayden got the start against Philadelphia and made a key interception before he was injured.
Joining Ryan and McClure in getting limited work were receiver Roddy White (thigh) and defensive end Ray Edwards (foot). Defensive tackle Corey Peters (back) and backup safety Shann Schillinger (neck) both participated fully in the nearly two-hour-long practice.