http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-bl ... le-injury/
FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons issued their longest injury report of the season Wednesday.
Tight end Michael Palmer (shoulder), starting linebacker Stephen Nicholas (ankle) and running back Antone Smith (hamsgtring) did not practice. Palmer has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against Oakland, while Falcons coach Mike Smith is hopeful that Nicholas will return to practice on Thursday.
Seven other players were limited in practice: Defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (groin), wide receiver Kevin Cone (knee), wide receiver Drew Davis (knee), defensive tackle Peria Jerry (thigh), center Todd McClure (pectoral), cornerback Dunta Robinson (shoulder) and safety William Moore (hip).
Nicholas suffered the ankle injury against Washington on Sunday. He returned to the game, but couldn’t push off well on the ankle.
The defense could be hampered if Nicholas can’t play. He has had a hand in three of the Falcons’ 14 takeaways, including an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
“Stephen has had a good start to the year,” Smith said. “We are certainly hoping that he’s going to be able to get back. We’ll know more and more as the week goes on. If he’s not, we’ve got to make adjustments and we’ll do that. We have guys who have played his position, a number of guys that are trained to play the [strongside] position and the dime.”
Veteran linebacker Mike Peterson is the team’s top linebacker reserve and would see action if Nicholas doesn’t rebound quickly.
*does this mean Corey Peters is cleared to play? Also up 5-0 this close to a bye, I say rest Nicholas, or use him sparingly.