Douglas to miss 2009 season

It’s the kind of news that makes you think the Atlanta Falcons really are cursed.

After an 11-5 season that made fans think this season would finally be the first time the Falcons would have back-to-back winning seasons, it seemed that only injuries (and maybe the young defense) would prevent a 9-7 or better season.

The injury that nobody saw coming has become a reality as wide receiver Harry Douglas went down with a knee injury during a Wednesday practice. We all held our breath and hoped we wouldn’t hear those three letters that mean a lost season for players and sometimes franchises.

A-C-L.

Now that we know the cold truth, what does a torn ACL do to the team? We already know what it does for Douglas- he will miss the entire 2009 season.

It means that the Falcons will lose a stellar No. 3 wide receiver. Douglas took everyone by surprise in his rookie year last season, as it became evident that very few No. 3 defensive backs could cover Douglas.

This was supposed to be Harry’s year, where he proved to the league that he could make a huge leap with a year of experience under his belt. That won’t be happening now.

If there’s one person that should feel guilty about this situation, it’s Roddy White. The Falcons’ top wide receiver is still holding out of camp because he wants a re-negotiation of his contract, which isn’t set to expire until next year.

White was selected to the Pro Bowl last season, so I guess he thinks that is his ticket to a bigger salary, and in time, it should be. But for now, he should be practicing with the team and doing everything in his power to get the Falcons to the playoffs.

While White has held out of camp, Douglas was filling in as the No. 1 receiver in drills. Then Douglas tore up his knee. So is it logical to say that White’s actions led Douglas to a season-ending injury?

I think so. If Douglas wasn’t running that particular route on that particular drill, maybe he would still be healthy and not out for the year. It’s a crazy thought, but it may hold some truth.

How anyone can argue about money with the Falcons is beyond me. If they have proven one thing in the past 5 years, it’s that they will get you paid if you are a top player. Clearly White is one of our best players, and general manager Thomas Dimitroff has stated that White is worth top dollar to keep in Atlanta.

I just hope the team doesn’t budge in their stance that White will not receive a new contract until the end of the season. He needs to get to camp soon because quarterback Matt Ryan is running out of targets to throw to.

Dimitroff believes White will be in camp soon, because he will be hurting himself if he spends more time away from the team. I would hope Douglas calls his buddy and convinces him to get to camp if this holdout drags on much longer.

Either way, the belief that the Falcons’ offense is going to be unstoppable this season is quickly becoming less plausible. We can only hope Tony Gonzalez is the tight end of years past, and we better hope that Jerious Norwood can catch.