For the first time since 2006, the Falcons will be on the same field with defensive end John Abraham while he’s wearing another team’s jersey. He now plays for the Arizona Cardinals and is playing against his former team since being cut in the offseason.
On Wednesday, the media had a chance to talk with Abraham, after a two sack/two forced fumble performance against the Seahawks on Thursday Night Football. Looking back on that decision by the team to cut him, the former Falcon defensive end says it was a little bit of a shock.
“I was surprised,” Abraham said. “I was worrying more about us losing to San Francisco (in the NFC Championship Game), because I just signed a three year deal.”
Abraham says he was tipped off to the chance he could be getting cut by the Falcons by his sister, adding that he hadn’t really talked to anyone with the team after the loss to the 49ers. After the fact, John says that he got some explanation into why he was let go.
“Mike (Smith) called me and (General Manager Thomas) Dimitroff called me telling me ‘John, it was a business decision, it wasn’t about your physical play,’ ” Abraham said. “Mike told me he wanted me to stay, it was a business decision and it had nothing to do with me personally or anything.”
Smith after Wednesday’s practice backed up his former player on how that phone call went.
“It’s part of football and your roster changes every year,” Smith said. “There’s a new dynamic of your team and it changes from year to year.”
So with all this being the case, you would think that John Abraham would be set on getting revenge against his former team. He says that’s not necessarily the case.
“For us (Cardinals) we’re trying to get to 4-4,” Abraham said. “It’d be different if I went back to the Dome, but them coming here it’s like their next opponent.”
However, Abraham did say it will be fun to play against guys that he went up against in practice. This time he also gets a chance to actually hit quarterback Matt Ryan, after not being able to tackle him in practice all these years. Plus, the former Falcons defensive end says that he is flying some fans in for the game from Atlanta.
Jackson Is Back At Practice
In a Season that has been ravaged by injuries, the Falcons could have some good news on the horizon. Running back Steven Jackson came back to the practice field for the first time since picking up a hamstring injury in week two of the regular season against the Rams.
Jackson thinks things are possibly looking good for him to play on Sunday in Arizona.
“I think that I’m feeling to this point well enough to give it a go and be out there and be effective like day one,” Jackson said.
Reading this, you would think that it’s a shoe in for Jackson to be on the field when the Falcons and Cardinals kick off on Sunday. However, he isn’t going to get to far ahead of himself.
“The game is Sunday,” Jackson said. “I’m aware of that and the team is aware of that. But, at the same time I’m here to make a difference and we’re going to see if I can do that.”
Jackson went through limited practice on Wednesday and all indications are that his hamstring held up. He’s expected to go through more work as the week goes on.
Some of his teammates are already counting him as active for this game. Players like safety William Moore are planning for him to play.
“Now that the ‘Jack Attack’ is back we’re ready to roll on offense,” Moore said. “That’s a huge player to bring some more momentum. Not taking away from (Jason) Snelling or (Jacquizz Rodgers) ‘Quizz’, they did a good job stepping in and hopefully all three of them can rotate.”
Jason Snelling missed Falcons practice on Wednesday with an ankle injury. So, as of right now his status for Sunday is up in the air. However, some more good news for the team could come in the form of left tackle Sam Baker and tight end Chase Coffman returning to practice. Both of these players went through limited practice. However, wide receiver Roddy White did not practice trying to come back from his hamstring and ankle issues.