It's hard to imagine a scenario where a victory that makes your team 8-8 and doesn't clinch a division title or playoff birth could be meaningful. But the Atlanta Falcons concocted that exact scenario today, defeating the now 14-1 Carolina Panthers at the Georgia Dome. The moral victory was a beautiful thing to watch, and as usual, it was more stress-inducing than it arguably needed to be. As I type this, the Minnesota Vikings are beating the crap out of
the crappy Eli Manning. Their victory will officially eliminate the Falcons. Sad. But there were injuries today, and we've got a game to play next week, so let's break them down.
Paul Soliai left the game in the first half with a calf injury. If you recall, this is an ongoing issue for him. He made his way back onto the field at one point, only to leave it again and find himself relegated to the sideline for the rest of the game. He apparently couldn't even walk because of the pain. He was ruled out before the second half began.
Justin Durant and Eric Weems were also injured in the first half. Durant had an oblique injury and was deemed questionable to return, while Weems managed to get himself concussed by trying to take on two big uglies during a kickoff return. Weems went down immediately and appeared to lose consciousness momentarily. He then apparently stumbled off the field and argued with trainers about having to go undergo a concussion evaluation. Love that man but he plays like he's blissfully unaware of his own mortality.
Matt Ryan took a couple of nasty hits in the first half. He kept grabbing his side, suggesting he was in fact injured. Dan Quinn emphatically denied there was any issue. Ryan played heroically in the second half, throwing a 70 yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones.