Yes, I'm back in action. Going from 86 degree temperatures in sunny Florida to snow and freezing temps in New England made me wish I wasn't, but hey.
A lot happened while I was gone. The Falcons ran their record to 4-3 in impressive fashion—more on that tomorrow—and Matt Ryan narrowly avoided the kind of injury that makes men and women alike weep. Unfortunately, it wasn't all sunshine and moon puppies.
Let's start with the obvious: Losing Ovie Mughelli hurts. I'm not going to spend a lot of time dwelling on it, because my capable co-bloggers have handled that. Jason Snelling is likely to step in as a sort of blocking, pass catching, running fullback hybrid guy for the immediate future, with Mike Cox available if he falters or just needs a breather. Big Snell is capable enough, but he doesn't equate Mughelli's value as a blocker. We'll find out soon enough if that hurts Michael Turner.
The other story line is still an important one. Mike Johnson is also out for the year now, and the Falcons' offensive line depth takes another hit in a year where Todd McClure has struggled with injury and everyone else has been wildly inconsistent. Taking his place is Kirk Chambers, who is known for his ability to play both tackle and guard, but hasn't even played in a game since 2009.
I'm puzzled as to why the team even bothered to sign Chambers, given the presence of Andrew Jackson and Jose Valdez on the practice squad. Given that Johnson was inactive on most game days, they might just have wanted to go with a veteran presence.
Oh, and many thanks to my talented co-writers for taking care of the house while I was gone. Be sure to thank them, too.
What say you to the state of the banged up birds?