Steven Jackson returned to practice on Wednesday, feeling confident that he will soon be ready to help the Falcons make a mid season resurgence in the NFC South.
SJ39 has been sidelined since Week 2, when he suffered a hamstring injury while scoring a touchdown in Atlanta’s win over the St. Louis Rams. Steven has been working hard with doctors ever since to ensure a strong and complete recovery.
“My leg has been feeling a lot better,” Steven said on Wednesday. “I’ve seen the doctor more times than I’d like to and, finally, he and I are on the same page. It’s been encouraging enough, the progress that I’ve made, to give it a go [in practice].”
S-Jax was happy to be back out on the field on Wednesday and teammates were thrilled to see him suited up. Injuries have hit the Falcons hard in the last several weeks, knocking out not only Steven, but both members of the team’s dynamic receiving tandem, Julio Jones and Roddy White.
Those injuries have left Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan without three of his four best options in the offense. So the quarterback was particularly excited to have SJ back in black and red again on Wednesday.
“It’s a good thing for us to have Steven back at practice, to get him out there, to start seeing what he can do,” Ryan said. “Whenever he does get back out on the game field for us, that’s going to help. He’s a great player.”
Though he had been unable to practice and play for the last few weeks, SJ39 was able to maintain a workout regimen in the weight room and described his body — aside from the injured leg — as feeling “fresh.” But he noted that the hamstring is a tricky muscle to gauge because it’s not one that will bother you unless you push it.
“What makes a hamstring so difficult is that you’re actually able to run, but once you hit top gear, that’s when you feel it,” he said. “Walking around I feel no issues. Jogging I feel no issues. But when it’s time for me to make the runs and cuts that I need to, that’s when I feel it.”
For that reason, the Atlanta coaching staff expects to bring No. 39 along slowly in practice this week and Steven isn’t certain of his status for Sunday’s game. He plans to use this week to make progress toward a return and measure where he stands before the Falcons take the field in Arizona.
“I’ll make sure that I get my run reads. I’ll make sure I get my run fits and make sure I understand the offensive game plan going into the week. But once again, I’ll be very aware of the fact that I have some days to heal and try get there on Sunday,” he said. “We’ll see.The game is Sunday. I’m aware of that, the team is aware of that. At the same time, I’m here to make a difference and we’re going to see if I can do that.”
The Atlanta Falcons will make the cross country trek to Arizona to battle the Cardinals (3-4) on Sunday. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:25 ET and the game can be seen on FOX.
- Falcons’ run game could get a boost from Jackson’s return, (Albany Herald, October 22, 2013)
- Steven Jackson close to return, (ESPN.com, October 23, 2013)
- Jackson feels like he can be effective (AtlantaFalcons.com, October 23, 2013)
- Jackson encouraged by injury’s progress (AtlantaFalcons.com, October 23, 2013)
- Falcons RB Steven Jackson plans to play vs. Cardinals (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, October 23, 2013)