Ryan returns to practice but limited with sore right ankle

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was a limited participant in practice Wednesday and it is uncertain if he will start at New Orleans.

A sprained right ankle forced Ryan to miss his first game since 2009, snapping a streak of 163 consecutive starts, when Atlanta lost to Seattle two weeks ago.

“I’m feeling a little bit better every day,” Ryan said. “When you have something like this, you just try and focus on daily improvement and trying to get back to yourself as fast as possible.”

Coming off a bye week, the Falcons (1-7) returned to practice as they prepare to face the Saints (7-1) on Sunday. Ryan is trying to help his teammates stay focused on preparing for this game and not try to salvage the season in one week.

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Atlanta is riding a six-game losing streak, its longest since coach Dan Quinn’s first season in 2015.

“It’s trying to win one football game,” he said. “That’s my approach this week. It’s trying to stay present in what we’re doing right now, trying to make sure we put in a good week of work and win this one football game and then try to knock those wins out one in a row as we go. But my focus really isn’t any further than the opponent we have this week.”

If Ryan can’t play, Matt Schaub will make his second straight start. Schaub set a single-game franchise record with 39 completions against the Seahawks and finished with 460 yards passing, one touchdown and one interception.

Cornerback Desmond Trufant (toe), right guard Jamon Brown (foot), left guard James Carpenter (knee), left guard Wes Schweitzer (head) and tight end Jaeden Graham (knee) were limited in practice. Running back Ito Smith (neck) and defensive end John Cominsky (ankle) did not participate.

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