Turner update coming Wednesday

Updated: November 16, 2009, 4:38 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith was vague about running back Michael Turner's status, saying he'll provide an update Wednesday when the initial injury report comes out.

After a sluggish start, the Falcons' leading rusher was on a major roll with three straight 100-yard games -- until he went down with a sprained right ankle against Carolina. Now, Atlanta could be without its top two backs, since No. 1 backup Jerious Norwood has missed the last four games with a hip flexor (on top of sustaining two concussions this season). Jason Snelling will start if Turner can't go.

Turner had only nine carries against Carolina -- and still managed to gain 111 yards. Over the last three games, he averaged 9.1 yards every time he got the ball.

"We need that guy," Falcons receiver Roddy White said. "He's our MVP. As long as we've got him, the offense rolls smoothly."

So begins a week of speculation about Turner's playing status. Even if the injury is not as serious as initially feared, the Falcons can hardly afford to be without their top running back for even one game.

"Mike's a warrior," White said. "Ignore the injury report. Mike is going to be playing Sunday."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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