William Moore, as you know, is always ready. I can't imagine the frustration he felt after separating his shoulder in the Falcons' week 4 loss against Minnesota. Moore earned his status, by playing hard-hitting, team-first football. Watching your team from the sideline is never easy. But when you're the leader of the defense, it's even harder.
I won't lie. Seeing Moore in pads today was fantastic. If there's anything that can make you feel better about your 4-7 team, it's having a fan favorite come back from injury. But it begs a relevant question: are we rushing him? Per Vaughn McClure, Moore will wear special shoulder pads this weekend, designed to limit his shoulder extension.
"It's a pad in my shoulder pads to keep it from extending,'' Moore explained. "It's not all the way around. It's just so it doesn't extend up. I wore it all [last] week. I don't think it's going to have much effect on my game. But me personally, I don't care what I wear ... I just have to watch how I land more than anything; not how I hit, but how I land.''
A couple things. First, I want to be clear, I trust the training staff. They know what they're doing. That said, the Falcons have to push the envelope a bit right now. They're in a depressingly tight division race, and Moore's presence will help. Sure, they have Kemal Ishmael. And sure, Ishmael has 3 interception in the past 3 weeks, filling in capably in Moore's absence. But the Falcons defense is better with Moore on the field.
Second, can we really trust Moore? As I said above, sideline duty hasn't been easy for Moore. It's been gut wrenching. He's probably not as worried about himself as he should be. In short, we can't really trust him when he says he's fine. He's a bit biased, albeit in a good way.
I'm inclined to think the Falcons are doing the right thing. But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried. The Falcons need to be worried about Moore's future, not just their present.