ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 19: Dunta Robinson #23 of the Atlanta Falcons tackles Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals at Georgia Dome on September 19 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
With a bye week to heal up, I figured we'd see Dunta Robinson back on the field and looking as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as a squirrel on amphetamines. Now I'm not so sure.
The Associated Press tells us that Dunta still hasn't been cleared to practice, more than two full weeks after the collision with DeSean Jackson that knocked them both out of the game and cost our new top cornerback $50,000. In the report is the ominous sound of Mike Smith admitting he doesn't know if Dunta will practice this week, which in my head sounds a little bit like a piano colliding with a cement sidewalk.
It's not like the Bucs are the most competent passing attack in the NFL, but the Falcons really need their full complement of cornerbacks to be successful. Brent Grimes matches up well with stud rookie Mike Williams, but whether Chris Owens can keep bruising Arrelious Benn in check for an entire game is very much a question I don't want to have answered.
As hard as it is to rein in my impulse to ask what the hell is taking so long, it must be done, and for two compelling reasons. Number one, it would be incredibly hypocritical for me to tell the Falcons to rush Dunta back from an injury when I excoriated Mike Smith for doing it with Michael Turner in 2009. Number two, risking re-injury or more severe concussion symptoms on our expensive top cornerback would be foolhardy at best. If Robinson's really not ready, the Falcons will have to grit their teeth and go forward with Grimes and Owens, hoping that tandem can get the job done.
Oh, and Sean Weatherspoon didn't practice Monday, either. That's....great.