FLOWERY BRANCH — Here’s everything you need to know about the 3-0 Falcons, who face the Houston Texans (1-2) at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Georgia Dome, this morning:
- The team returns to practice after a day off. They’ll have a morning walk-through before coach Dan Quinn meets with the media at 12:05 p.m. The team will return to field for practice at 1:05 p.m. Quarterback Matt Ryan and defensive coordinator Richard Smith will also talk with the media today. Ryan during open locker room and Smith after practice. The Falcons signed tight end Mickey Shuler and released tackle Tyler Polumbus. Jake Long will slide up the depth chart to the No. 3 tackle spot.
- The Falcons are 3-0 and face a Houston Texans team that likes to get physical. Defensive end J.J. Watt, who had 20.5 sacks last season, sets the tone for the Texans. The offensive linemen, who have turned in a solid three games, will be very popular today. Tackles Ryan Schraeder and Jake Matthews should bet plenty of media action.
- When the team takes the field, we’ll be looking for the walking wounded. Returner Devin Hester (turf toe), linebacker Brooks Reed (groin), linebacker Paul Worrilow (calf) and running back Tevin Coleman (fractured rib). Worrilow didn’t look healthy against the Cowboys and was a liability. He needs to heal.
- Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones doesn’t talk until Thursday, but we’ll check in with him to see how his hamstring is doing. It looked just fine on his 45-yard touchdown run. There’s an interesting piece by Yahoo! Business Insider writer Scott Davis on how the Falcons have turned Jones into a force after he signed his $71 million contract extension.
- We started The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s NFL Power rankings on Tuesday and our Michael Cunningham has the Falcons ranked pretty high.
STORIES ON THE TEXANS
3-3 start should be Texans’ goal (B. Smith)
Texans’ retooled offensive line comes through (J. McClain)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter and CineSport’s Noah Coslov discuss what’s led to Julio Jones’ big numbers, the Falcons’ first half struggles and the challenges ahead against the Texans on Sunday.
COWBOYS GAME COVERAGE — Falcons 39, Cowboys 28