FLOWERY BRANCH — Here are the five things we learned on Friday about the Falcons (6-4), who host the Minnesota Vikings (7-3) at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Georgia Dome.
1. FREEMAN IS OUT: Falcons running back Devonta Freeman, who’s in the league concussion protocol program, was declared out by coach Dan Quinn on Friday. Rookies Tevin Coleman and Terron Ward will attempt to replace him in the lineup.
2. HANKERSON IS OUT: Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson was declared out for the game. He suffered a hamstring injury late in the game against the Colts.
3. KICKING GAME: The Falcons signed Shayne Graham on Thursday to handle the field goals. Matt Bryant suffered a quadriceps strain in practice on Wednesday and was also declared out for the game.
4. VIKINGS TO WATCH: Two key starters for the Vikings in safety Harrison Smith (knee) and defensive end Everson Griffen (hip, shoulder) missed Thanksgiving Day practice on Thursday. Griffen leads the Vikings in sacks with 6.5. Both are expected to play.
5. FALCONS PICKED TO WIN: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jeff Schultz is calling for the Falcons upset the Vikings on Sunday. Here’s what he wrote in his weekend predictions column:
Vikings at Falcons: To all of Matt Ryan’s defenders, think about this: He has lost three consecutive games to Jameis Winston, Blaine Gabbert and Matt Hasselbeck. He has thrown 10 interceptions and lost last week’s game to Indianapolis (three interceptions, a pick-six, 25-for-46 passing) all by himself. So what happens when the Falcons play a pretty good team? Don’t know why I’m doing this but: Falcons cover 2.
The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter and CineSport’s Noah Coslov preview Falcons-Vikings by looking back at the way the Packers beat Minnesota and by getting into Matt Ryan’s struggles.
Here’s how the Falcons reached the 6-4 mark after 10 games
Here’s a look back at the game stories, news and notes from the Falcons’ games this season after their disappointing 24-21 loss to the Colts on Sunday.
INDIANAPOLIS GAME COVERAGE — Colts 24, Falcons 21
SAN FRANCISCO GAME COVERAGE — 49ERS 17, Falcons 16
TAMPA BAY GAME COVERAGE — Bucs 23, Falcons 20 in OT
TENNESSEE GAME COVERAGE — Falcons 10, Titans 7