Ryan’s status depends on health of Falcons’ O-line

Falcons QB Matt Ryan‘s status for Sunday’s game against the Saints could be based as much on other players’ injuries as with the turf toe on his right foot.

The availability of RG Harvey Dahl (ankle) and LT Sam Baker (elbow) could be the final factor in determining if Ryan suits up for a make-or-break game against the NFC South champions at the Georgia Dome, a team source said. Both players, along with Ryan, sat out last Sunday’s loss to the Eagles, and all are uncertain about playing against the Saints.

The Falcons don’t want to put a wounded, immobile Ryan under center with backups at key offensive line positions. Therefore, the ability of Dahl and Baker to perform at an acceptable level will play into the decision as to whether Ryan will suit up.

Ryan didn’t practice Wednesday, but he spent most of the day rehabilitating his turf toe with trainers. The injury is said not to be season-ending –- the ball of the foot didn’t dislocate -– but it’s painful, damaged and on his plant foot, which is more problematic than if it were on his lead leg (left).

The team is developing an orthotic to place in Ryan’s shoe, and he will be put through a series of football-related drills to see how much he is able to do and how much his foot can withstand over the next few days.

Some of Ryan’s teammates said the QB will try to play, but there is a lot of reservation as to whether he can.

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