By Cedric Williams

After falling in the shower, hitting his head and missing last week’s game against the Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons’ rookie running back Tevin Coleman will also miss this Sunday’s season finale at the Georgia Dome against the New Orleans Saints because he wasn’t able to clear the NFL-mandated concussion protocol.

Coleman has been practicing and was seen doing drills with team trainers on one of the side fields at the Falcons’ training facility in Flowery Branch on Friday, and he appeared to be feeling better. But the team felt it was better to keep the third-round pick from Indiana on the sidelines this week and let him go into his off-season without risking any further injury.

With Coleman out, that means Atlanta will again use undrafted rookie Terron Ward as the primary backup to Pro Bowl starter Devonta Freeman. Ward was the Falcons’ No. 2 back last week against Carolina, but playing in his first game in nearly a month, he had just two carries for three yards.

Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn didn’t say officially, but it might not be a surprise to see Ward carry the ball a bit more Sunday against the Saints. The Falcons will probably be looking to find out more about what Ward’s skills are as they move into the off-season, especially with Freeman listed on this week’s injury report as well with a knee ailment.

There are ten other players listed on Atlanta’s official injury report, which the team released on Friday. Of the ten, which includes CB Phillip Adams (hamstring), CB Robert Alford (ankle), OL Chris Chester (shoulder), LB Justin Durant (hip), WR/KR Devin Hester (toe), NT Grady Jarrett (shoulder), QB Matt Ryan (hip), WR Eric Weems (concussion), WR Roddy White (ankle) and LB Paul Worrilow (knee), all are listed as probable for Sunday. 

For New Orleans, the most important injury news is probably that QB Drew Brees is also listed as probable for Sunday. Brees tore the plantar fascia tendon in his right heel two weeks ago in the Saints’ game against Detroit, but came back to throw for 412 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in his team’s win over Jacksonville last week.

Brees sat out of practice this past Wednesday, but came back on Thursday and Friday, and will almost certainly play and start against the Falcons on Sunday.  

Atlanta Falcons Injury Report:

Probable:
CB Phillip Adams (hamstring)
CB Robert Alford (ankle)
OL Chris Chester (shoulder)
LB Justin Durant (hip)
RB Devonta Freeman (knee)
WR/KR Devin Hester (toe)
NT Grady Jarrett (shoulder)
QB Matt Ryan (hip)
WR Eric Weems (concussion)
WR Roddy White (ankle)
LB Paul Worrilow (knee)

Out:
RB Tevin Coleman (concussion)

New Orleans Saints

Probable:
QB Drew Brees (foot)
S Jairus Byrd (knee)
TE Josh Hill (concussion)
DE Cameron Jordan (back)
OL Zach Strief (elbow)

Questionable:
OL Terron Armstead (knee)

Out:
WR Marques Colston (chest)
LB Dannell Ellerbe (hip)
OL Andrus Peat (concussion)

Cedric Williams, a lifelong St. Louisan and proud UMSL alum, has been a full-time reporter/photographer covering St. Louis area sports for nearly two decades. Most recently, he has been working as a credentialed beat writer covering the NFL, as well as college and high school sports for the St. Louis American, Patch.com, and other outlets from around the area. Please share any comments, questions, or feedback with Cedric at cedricwilliams510@gmail.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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