Falcons say QB Matt Ryan (ankle) will start vs. Saints

Cruz: Brees will continue to be dominant (0:45)

Victor Cruz and Rob Ninkovich expect the Saints to be a well-rested team going into their matchup with the Falcons after a bye week. (0:45)

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan will play Sunday at New Orleans coming off a sprained right ankle, coach Dan Quinn said Friday.

Ryan practiced all week and had extra time to recover during last week's bye. Before the bye, he missed a game for the first time since the 2009 season, when he was inactive for a loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Ryan had made 154 consecutive starts before his streak was broken.

Quinn talked about what he has seen from Ryan this week coming off the injury.

"He's ready," Quinn said. "Just mobility. I would say that would be probably the biggest thing where you can, not on design plays out of the pocket, but when you have to improvise and move without having certain number of steps or such."

Ryan has been sacked 14 times in the past three meetings with the rival Saints, all losses for the Falcons. Ryan and the Falcons are 1-7 and in the midst of a six-game losing streak as they begin NFC South play against the 7-1 Saints.

Besides declaring Ryan ready to play, Quinn ruled out running back Ito Smith (neck), defensive end John Cominsky (ankle), and offensive lineman Wes Schweitzer (concussion). Quinn called cornerback Desmond Trufant (toe) a game-time decision.