By Matthew Asher
Keeping true to form, head coach Mike Smith wouldn’t divulge any injury reports. “I’m not going to talk about injuries” Smith said when asked about the health of players. “We had a number of guys today that didn’t practice. We kept them inside, and we’ll have our first injury report next Wednesday.”
However, this past Monday, Smitty did talk about the injury updates of both Dunta Robinson and John Abraham who were both injured during Tampa Bay’s 22-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
Cornerback Dunta Robinson was injured in the first quarter of the game. Robinson, known for his smash mouth style of play, tried to knock down Tampa running back Doug Martin rather than wrapping him up for the sure tackle. Robinson hit Martin with his shoulder pads, but Robinson got the brunt of the hit. Dunta was able to walk off the field under his own power but because he was exhibiting concussion-like symptoms, the Falcons didn’t allow him to return to the game.
According to Smitty, Robinson is “in the concussion protocol” but the good new is “he is moving through it at a very good pace.”
While Smitty didn’t single out Dunta for the questionable tackling decision he made on Martin, he did admit to the tackling woes throughout the game. “We gave up some explosive runs and we didn’t tackle well,” Smith said. “That’s going to be the emphasis point this week. We’ve got to work on tackling. We’ve got to do a better job of tackling as well.”
Defensive end John Abraham was injured in the second half. Abraham was trying to chase down Tampa quarterback Josh Freeman when it appears as though he rolled his left ankle. While an injured ankle is probably preferred over a potential concussion, Abraham did need assistance getting off the field and had to be carted off to the locker room.
The good news for the Falcons is that while both Robinson and Abraham were unable to return to the game, there is a very good chance they will be ready for Atlanta’s first playoff game.
“I can tell you this, on both of the players that left the game yesterday, I fully anticipate that they will be ready to go on Sunday, January 13th at 1 o’clock,” Smith said.
Although safety William Moore didn’t play in the Tampa game, it appears as though he will also be ready to return to the field when Atlanta hosts what they hope will be their first of two Playoff games. Moore has missed the last four games due to a hamstring injury, is getting closer to returned as well.
“We hope to get William on the field in terms of our preparation for the game,” Smitty said. “He’ll be on the field working with our Athletic Performance group the first day and we’ll see how he’s going…He’s progressed quite a bit over the last two weeks and we anticipate seeing him out there with us.”
For now, the Falcons should consider themselves lucky regarding the health of Robinson, Abraham and Moore. With ten days before their next game, Atlanta will hopefully make sure the rest of the players heal from whatever nagging injuries they have as well.
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Matthew Asher is a freelance writer covering all things Atlanta sports related. His work can be found on Examiner.com.