Mike Smith has talked about the importance of playing to beat the Buccaneers, but he's not crazy. That's why William Moore will sit out Week 17.
The Falcons will likely try to get Roddy White a few snaps this week to keep his games played streak alive, but he likely won't log serious minutes with that lingering knee issue. Ditto Chris Owens, who is battling a hamstring issue. But they've already ruled out Moore for the Bucs game, and with very good reason.
Chris Hope has stepped in and done a fine job in Moore's absence, but Moore is an All-Pro caliber safety who has had quite a remarkable year. He also injured his hamstring four weeks ago and hasn't played since. There's a very fine line between wanting to win football games and trotting out a playmaker who could severely aggravate an existing injury, and Smith ain't walking it.
Moore will finish the regular season with 75 tackles, a sack, four picks and eight pass deflections. Early indications are that he'll be ready to play by the time the Falcons host their Divisional Round playoff game.