The Atlanta Falcons need an exterminator, because their recent history with the injury bug is downright tragic. Injuries decimated their offensive line in 2014, seriously compromising the health and wellbeing of franchise quarterback Matt Ryan. With any luck, 2015 will be different. While injuries are inevitable in the NFL, years like 2014 make you think the football gods hate the Falcons.
The Mothership's Andrew Hirsh gave us some reasons to be excited for training camp earlier today. One of the things he rightly points to is injury-related. In short, we're finally going to get some substantive news about the recovery of various injured players. Give Hirsh's article a read, if you have a minute.
The number of players who finished last season on injured reserve are scheduled to be active for camp. This list includes offensive linemen
Jake Matthewsand Joe Hawley. Matthews, now entering his second year, is recovering from a Lisfranc foot ailment that nagged him for much of 2014; Hawley is on the mend from a season-ending knee injury he suffered last September. How those two recover in 2015 will have a signifianct impact on Atlanta's chances to return to playoff action. Safety William Mooreand Antone Smithare also on track to return.
This is how injuries work in the NFL. You get periodic sound bites about a player's status in the off-season, but until these guys take the field and really get to work, you never know. A healthy Jake Matthews and Joe Hawley could buoy an offensive line that's already getting a lot of flack. A healthy William Moore could help turnaround a defense that sorely needs a veteran leader. And a healthy Antone Smith gives Matt Ryan another tool in his tool belt of awesomeness.
Dave will have a detailed injury update for you tomorrow, so keep an eye out for that. But in the interim, discuss!