That was ... embarassing. But what else is new? This season was doomed from the start. And because Arthur Blank is unwilling to pull the trigger, Dan Quinn will likely remain the head coach of this football team for the foreseeable future. These are the days of our lives.
The Falcons went into this game beat up mentally and physically. They needed a win and they needed to stay relatively healthy. Unfortunately they failed on both fronts.
Six starters were sidelined before kickoff, including their WR1, Julio Jones. Their WR3, Russell Gage, was knocked out of the game with a concussion after taking a big hit. Gage suffered a concussion around this time last year as well, which is disconcerting. He was also evaluated for a concussion after taking a gnarly hit earlier in the season. Because concussion history can often factor into how long someone spends in the concussion protocol, we have to entertain the possibility that he won’t be able to go next week. If Julio can’t go either, the Falcons will be scary thin at wide receiver. This is something to keep a close eye on throughout the week, but to be frank, I’d rather the Falcons err on the side of caution. This season is over—there’s no reason to risk Gage’s long-term health.
Keanu Neal had talked recently about how nice it was to feel like himself again. Coming off two season-ending injuries, he needs to stay healthy. Neal unfortunately suffered a hamstring injury on a play that resulted in a Bears touchdown, thrusting rookie Jaylinn Hawkins into game action. It’s Neal’s left hamstring that had the issue, which is significant because his both his season-ending injury in 2018 was to his left knee and his season-ending injury in 2019 was to his left achilles. Basically the world needs to leave Neal’s left leg alone. Please and thank you.
Last but certainly not least, Grady Jarrett went down late in the game with a hip injury, earning a “questionable” designation. Ugh.
Your thoughts about these injuries, Falcoholics?