After loss to Bills, Falcons welcome their bye week
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons are suddenly happy with the early timing of their bye week after starting wide receivers Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu were hurt in Sunday’s loss to the Bills.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn said that Jones (hip flexor), Sanu (strained hamstring) and defensive lineman Jack Crawford (biceps) would undergo MRIs on Monday.
Quinn did not put a timetable on the return of the injured players, other than to say of his wide receivers:
“The good news is both of them aren’t going to be long term.”
The Falcons (3-1) next play Oct. 15 against the Dolphins.
Atlanta’s situation on the defensive line, where starters Vic Beasley (hamstring tear) and Courtney Upshaw (ankle) have been out multiple weeks, is concerning enough that Quinn said he and general manager Thomas Dimitroff will discuss personnel.
“You never hope for a bye, but if there was a time that it would come through, now would be a good time,” Quinn said. “Thomas and I will discuss to see what’s next, and where Courtney’s at because that’s such an important part of how we play; we like to rotate players.”
Neither Jones nor Sanu played in the second half Sunday, when Atlanta was without starters Beasley, Upshaw, free safety Ricardo Allen (concussion) and right tackle Ryan Scrhaeder (concussion). Reserve running back Terron Ward (neck shoulder) also missed the game.
And strong safety Keanu Neal missed two plays Sunday as team officials helped him straighten a dislocated finger.
Beasley, who led the NFL in sacks last season with 15½, was injured in the second game against the Packers.
“Beasley, Ward and Upshaw are making progress so we’re hopeful to see where they’ll go for next week,” Quinn said. “This has been two or three weeks with Beasley, so we’re hopeful that he’ll be back in the next week’s time.”
Pro Bowl center Alex Mack will visit his family in California, and he sees the timing as unusually positive.
“I personally dislike an early bye. The season just started and I want to keep playing, especially after a loss,” he said. ”(But) healing up and being fresh is going to do us some good.”
NOTES: Quinn opened his news conference by addressing the shooting in Las Vegas. “I’d really make sure to let everyone know that our thoughts are with the people and families that are impacted by the events in Las Vegas,” he said. “It’s definitely tragic, and we want to let them know that here in Atlanta we’re thinking of you.” ... The Falcons, coaches and owner Arthur Blank discussed social issues with Andrew MacIntosh, a facilitator from the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality. “We thought it would be really important to take our time on a topic that is so important,” Quinn said. “We brought in somebody to help moderate and help with discussions on how we progress ... how can we make a difference?”