Roddy White’s surgery could have him slipping to the No. 3 receiver slot

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White is expected to have a minor surgery to clean up some loose particles in his elbow, and it could potentially have an impact on his spot in the lineup.

While he reportedly is on course to return in time for the Week 1 season opener, the 33-year old wide receiver could be taking a backseat to wideout Leonard Hankerson. Reunited with his offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, Hankerson is looking quite impressive catching passes from quarterback Matt Ryan as of late.

In Atlanta’s second preseason game, Hankerson caught three of Ryan’s four completed passes for 15 yards, including a touchdown.

White has been battling with a myriad of injuries over the past couple of seasons. They have caused him to struggle with separating from coverage, which was a major issue for him in 2014.

White caught 80 passes on 125 targets last season and averaged his second-lowest yards per catch (11.5) of his career. Over the past two seasons, White’s performance has declined due to his limitations and he has failed to post 1,000-plus yards in either season.

While White sits sidelined for the next couple of weeks, it will give Hankerson even more time to build his chemistry with Ryan, which could result in White receiving less snaps when the regular season gets started. The Falcons could certainly choose to preserve their four-time Pro-Bowler to be sure he stays in one piece all season.