Falcons hoping for run support vs. Bucs RB Martin

Associated Press Modified: November 23, 2012 at 4:47 pm •  Published: November 23, 2012
Advertisement
;

"He's a pretty powerful young guy running the ball," Falcons linebacker Mike Peterson said. "I think he breaks a lot of tackles because of his size, so we're definitely going to have to gang tackle him and run to get to the ball."

Atlanta coach Mike Smith was pleased that Weatherspoon and Samuel returned to practice Friday, even it was in a limited role.

Though Jerry misses his third straight practice with a quadriceps injury, all three starters are listed as questionable for Sunday. Reserve defensive tackle Vance Walker (ribs) is listed as questionable, too.

A right ankle sprain has sidelined Weatherspoon for the last three games. He returned to practice on Wednesday, but missed Thursday's session with an undisclosed illness.

Samuel is nursing a sore shoulder after he and Jerry were injured in last week's home win over Arizona.

Two other defensive starters, right end John Abraham (back) and Jonathan Babineaux (neck), are listed as probable after fully participating on Friday.

Containing Martin, who ranks fourth in the NFL with 1,000 yards rushing, won't be easy.

"He's a very good back," Nolan said. "He reminds me a lot of (Ray) Rice at Baltimore. He's very comparable. He does a great job out of the backfield (catching passes) and does a great job in the backfield (running the football). He breaks a lot of tackles. He's sturdy. He's strong. He's tough. He runs hard. We're all very impressed with him."

___

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL

___

Follow George Henry at http://www.twitter.com/georgehenryAP