FLOWERY BRANCH — Here are five things you need to know Friday about the Falcons (6-5), who play at Tampa Bay (5-6) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
1. PRACTICE TODAY: The Falcons have a morning practice that starts at 10:25 a.m. Falcons coach Dan Quinn will talk with the media after practice. He’ll probably have an update on wide receiver Leonard Hankerson (hamstring), while the Devin Hester (turf toe) and Matt Bryant (quad) decisions may go into the evening and could leak into Saturday. Hester is expecting to play.
2. THE REAL McCOY HOPES TO PLAY: Tampa Bay’s All-Pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy had left hand surgery and did not practice on Thursday. He leads the Bucs with seven sacks. McCoy hopes to play according to Roy Cummings on the Tampa Tribune.
3. DEVONTA FREEMAN’S BACK: Falcons running back Devonta Freeman appears set to carry the full load on Sunday against the Bucs.
4. THE TOP 50 COUNTDOWN: Former Falcons quarterback Chris Chandler, the only QB to take the team to a Super Bowl, landed in the 22nd spot.
5. READING PROJECT: Former Atlanta Falcons defensive end Tim Green read his latest book “Kid Owner” to 75 or so students from Parkside Elementary in Atlanta.
MINNESOTA GAME COVERAGE — Vikings 20, Falcons 10
FROM THE FIRST MEETING — TAMPA BAY GAME COVERAGE — Bucs 23, Falcons 20 in OT