Vaughn McClure, ESPN Staff Writer 361d

Falcons' Vic Beasley Jr. (hamstring) running but looks far from ready to play

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons pass-rusher Vic Beasley Jr., who suffered a hamstring strain in a Week 2 win over Green Bay, ran on a side field Wednesday but looked far from ready for game action.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn said prior to practice that Beasley would do some running, but Quinn didn't reveal how much or what Beasley's status was for Sunday's home matchup with the Buffalo Bills. Beasley, who appeared to grab his right hamstring after going down against the Packers, had a noticeable limp Wednesday as he walked on the field alongside rookie pass-rusher Takkarist McKinley.

Beasley spent about five minutes circling the area where the rest of the Falcons were lined up for warm-ups. He then jogged lightly over to a side field to join fellow injured teammates Terron Ward (neck/shoulder) and LaRoy Reynolds (chest) for rehab exercises.

Beasley was able to lift both knees high during one skipping drill, but he looked extremely tentative as he went through the small, quick steps of the ladder drill. He didn't appear to have any protection on either leg, at least not anything clearly evident.

The original timetable associated with Beasley's injury called for at least a month's recovery. Quinn refused to put a timetable on it, but Beasley did miss last week's 30-26 win at Detroit.

Even if Beasley is feeling better, with the Falcons having their bye week after this Sunday's Buffalo game, it would be hard to imagine Quinn rushing Beasley back to face the Bills this week.

If Beasley misses a month, he still would be back in time for the Super Bowl rematch with the New England Patriots in Week 7 (Oct. 22).

Although Beasley led the league with 15.5 sacks last season and recorded a sack in each of the first two games this season, the Falcons have established enough depth to get after quarterbacks regardless. McKinley stepped into Beasley's spot rushing off the left edge in the nickel package and recorded his first career sack against the Lions, while veteran Adrian Clayborn continues to play with relentless effort off the right edge. Grady Jarrett and Dontari Poe give a push up the middle, while Derrick Shelby, Jack Crawford, and even linebacker De'Vondre Campbell can help the Falcons generate adequate pressure.

Defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel addressed life with and without Beasley. "Playing Matt [Stafford], he's either in the Top 5 or Top 10 in quarterbacks in this league [and] you have to continuously put pressure on him. The guys up front, they collectively did that," Manuel said. "It was a collective effort.

"You're going to always miss a player like Vic. That's going to always happen. But again, our brotherhood is way stronger than one man. And our job, within the brotherhood, is to maintain our standard without him. So I think the guys did a real good job. Takk had a good game. [Clayborn] came in and brought his effort. It was collectively."

Outside of Beasley, the Falcons saw free safety Ricardo Allen and Ryan Schraeder miss practice while still in the concussion protocol. All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones was limited by a back injury, while Crawford was limited by a shoulder issue.

^ Back to Top ^