FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons are finishing the season with 11 players on injured reserve, including two additions this week.
The Falcons, who complete their disappointing season on Sunday against Carolina, placed defensive tackle Corey Peters on IR on Thursday. Peters left Monday night's loss at San Francisco with a right Achilles injury.
Earlier this week, rookie safety Zeke Motta was placed on IR after undergoing neck surgery.
It is a fitting end to a season filled with injuries. Among other prominent names on IR: wide receiver Julio Jones, left tackle Sam Baker, right tackle Mike Johnson, fullback Bradie Ewing and defensive end Kroy Biermann.
Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, running back Steven Jackson and receiver Roddy White missed three or more games with injuries.
"It's been a difficult year for a lot of guys," coach Mike Smith said after Thursday's practice. "I feel for the guys personally because they've all worked hard and they've all had expectations to have a clean season and a good season. For us as coaches, it's part of the NFL. Some years you're going to have more. Some years we're going to have less."
The Falcons (4-11) may be without Weatherspoon and running back Jacquizz Rodgers against the Panthers. Weatherspoon was inactive against the 49ers with a knee injury and hasn't returned to practice this week.
Smith said Weatherspoon's knee "hasn't responded" and the goal is to have the linebacker run on the side during Friday's practice.
Rodgers is going through the NFL's concussion protocol.
Peters, second on the team with 5 sacks, was emotional on the sideline at San Francisco following his injury. Peters, who has started 53 of 56 career games, is a pending unrestricted free agent.
The injuries have provided new challenges for quarterback Matt Ryan, who has played behind an offensive line that has been shuffled on a weekly basis.
"It's been tough sledding, there's no question about that," Ryan said Thursday. "We've had a number of guys nicked up. It's part of the game. It's the part you don't like about it, but it is part of the deal. Some seasons shape up that way. You've got to find a way to adapt and overcome. We haven't done a good enough job of that."