Sunday, January 21, 2018
Sports

Atlanta rests 2 key starters for week

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Matt Ryan wasn't worried that he didn't have his center and top receiver with him for the Falcons' first Super Bowl practice Wednesday or for the remainder of the week.

The quarterback says he trusts Alex Mack and Julio Jones will do what is necessary to be ready despite missing this week's practice schedule with injuries.

"Obviously you'd love to have everybody out there practicing, but it's not realistic this time of the year," Ryan said. "Both those guys, to me, are guys who have played so many snaps for us this year that they'll be ready to go regardless."

Coach Dan Quinn said he expects Mack, the center who suffered a lower left leg injury in Sunday's NFC title game against Green Bay, to be able to practice next week and play in the Super Bowl against New England.

The Falcons have reason to feel good about Jones' ability to play after resting his sprained left toe.

Jones missed all but one practice last week before flashing his All-Pro form against the Packers with nine catches for 180 yards and two TDs in the 44-21 win.

"They are two really, really smart guys and diligent guys when it comes to their preparation in meetings and being on top of the walkthroughs, studying film, so I feel like both those guys won't miss a beat," Ryan said.

DOLPHIN WOES: The NFL's concussion protocol wasn't strictly followed when Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore was treated for a hit in a first-round playoff game, the league said. Because Moore was bleeding from the mouth, he was allowed to return to the game too quickly at Pittsburgh, the league said. No disciplinary action against the Dolphins will be taken, but their staff must undergo a full review of the protocol. In other news, the team hasn't determined whether quarterback Ryan Tannehill needs surgery to repair his sprained left knee, football operations chief Mike Tannenbaum said. Tannehill was hurt Dec. 11 and missed the final four games of the season.

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