Roddy White may or may not be returning for the Atlanta Falcons this week. Head coach Mike Smith said Wednesday that it is still too early to tell whether White will be able to suit up for Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers, according to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. White was inactive for the first time in his nine-year career this past weekend due to a hamstring injury.
White has also been dealing with an ankle injury that rendered him ineffective early in the season. With 14 receptions for 129 yards and no touchdowns through five appearances, White is on pace for career-worst season. He has never averaged fewer than 12.1 yards per catch in a season, but is averaging just 9.2 YPC thus far in 2013.
The Falcons' problems in the passing game came to a head Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. With White sitting and Julio Jones out for the year, the Cards keyed on Tony Gonzalez and held the tight end to three receptions for 26 yards on eight targets. Harry Douglas picked up some of the slack as the de facto No. 1 receiver, catching 12 passes for 121 yards on 18 targets, but Matt Ryan finished the day an ugly 34-of-61 passing for 301 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions.