Matt Ryan will have another weapon in the arsenal in time for the “Battle of the Birds” on Sunday.
“He has been medically cleared. He has been cleared to practice over the last three weeks, so Michael Jenkins has gotten a final clearance from the medical staff,” Atlanta coach Mike Smith said to reporters at his Monday afternoon news conference. “He’ll be participating in the ballgame this weekend.”
Jenkins has not played in a game yet this season. The 6-foot-4 Ohio State product injured his shoulder in the team’s “Friday Night Lights” scrimmage at North Gwinnett High School on August 6. He has practiced with the team for the past month, but had not been cleared to play by the Falcons’ medical staff.
The timing of Jenkins return is expected to give a boost to the Falcons offense, which struggled in the first half of their Week 5 20-10 win over the Cleveland Browns. Ryan will have a legitimate tertiary weapon alongside wide receiver Roddy White and tight end Tony Gonzalez.
Jenkins is looking to rebound from a disappointing 2009 season, where the Atlanta wideout caught 50 passes for 635 yards, but scored just one touchdown.
The 28-year-old Jenkins has 235 catches for 3007 yards and 18 TDs in his seven-year career. He found the end zone a career-best seven times in the 2006 season, but has just eight touchdown grabs since then.