With just two games left in the Falcons' season, concerns about a Matt Ryan injury abound. Obviously the Falcons want to avoid a Ryan injury. It'd be bad, really bad, because it'd affect the off-season, and that'd be bad - just bad all around. Simply enough, no? But alas, it doesn't appear the Falcons will sit Ryan in the final two games.
But no matter how the suggestion of resting quarterback Matt Ryan over the last two games is made, Smith is certain to stick with his philosophy: Play the best players -- at least at the start of the game -- regardless of the team's 4-10 record.
"Again, our No. 1 goal is to win the football game," Smith reiterated Thursday. "And having Matt Ryan on the field … we haven't given up on this year.
His arms and legs cut off, Smith doesn't ever say die. What are we going to do, bleed on them? But he hasn't given up on this year. Respect.
Look, I'm firmly outside the "tank for Clowney" or "tank for [insert a player you want and think the Falcons need to tank to get]" camps. You don't lose on purpose; there's no value in that. But it's foolish to risk the health of your franchise quarterback heading into an off-season where your team badly needs to right their collective ship.
To be frank, I'm very torn on this. In short, I'd just hope Smith will approach these next two games with caution. By that I mean I'd hope he will remove Ryan from the game under circumstances that wouldn't normally justify such a move. For example, if the Ryan's a little banged up, and he'd normally be able to play through whatever is ailing him, put in Dominique Davis. That's the middle ground. That's the right way to handle these final two games.