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Playing Through Pain Part Of Falcons' Game Plan


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Playing through pain part of Falcons' game plan

By Vaughn McClure | ESPN.com

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Roddy White's left knee might never stops hurting. His left ankle kept him from playing against the Cardinals three games ago. And a hamstring injury forced him to miss a Week 3 game against Tampa Bay.

But no matter how much White's body throbs with pain, the veteran Atlanta Falcons receiver always approaches every game as if he's going to play -- particularly a late-season game like this Sunday's against the rival Saints, with postseason hopes at stake.

"Everybody has little nicks and stuff like that," White said. "Nobody is completely healthy after 14 games in an NFL season, so you're going to feel bumps and bruises. You've just got to put yourself in a mental state that you're going to get through it. You're going to fight through it and do what you have to do to get the job done."

White was asked if he has relayed the same message to teammate Julio Jones as Jones continues to recover from a hip injury. All indications are Jones is going to try and gut it out despite not being on the practice field the past two days.

"I don't have to relay it to him, because he's played hurt before," White said. "I know what he can do and how that feels. But as far him playing this Sunday, I don't want him to have to go out there and he can't run or he can't be himself, because that's not going to help us. And that would limit the stuff that we can do on offense, because we'll be calling plays to get him the ball. If he can be the explosive, down-the-field guy and make people miss, he needs to chill and see if we can make it for next week."

Strong safety William Moore certainly understands the importance of toughing it out through an injury. Moore confirmed that he has a torn fascia in his right foot. It is an injury that typically takes one or two weeks to heal and doesn't require surgery. But it can be painful to play through because the only true treatment is immobilization.

Moore, who missed last week's game against the Steelers, was back on the practice field Thursday running sprints and backpedaling in a limited capacity. He vowed not to miss Sunday's game for anything in the world.

"This is it: for all the marbles," Moore said. "Ain't no reason to sit back and watch. You know, my team needs me, and I want to be there. This is what I play the game for; for opportunities like this in December. We have an opportunity, regardless of what the record says. And I want to contribute. I don't want to sit back and watch."

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