Take a bye: Falcons head into off week looking to recharge
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) Dan Quinn compares his Atlanta Falcons to a cellphone running low on juice.
Time to charge up.
Coming off another potential win that got away but still on top in the NFC South, the Falcons are heading into a late-season bye week looking to invigorate themselves mentally and physically for the stretch run.
Quinn, the team's fiery coach, hopes the time off will allow two key players – cornerback Desmond Trufant and running back Tevin Coleman – to heal from injuries that kept them out of Sunday's 24-15 loss at Philadelphia. He said both could be ready to go by the team's next game, at home against Arizona on Nov. 27.
The outlook isn't as promising for another injured player. Jacob Tamme will get a second opinion for a shoulder injury, according to Quinn, an indication that Atlanta's starting tight end might be done for the season.
No matter what, the Falcons (6-4) are eager for some time off. They haven't had a break since the start of training camp in late July.
''It's important to recharge,'' Quinn said Monday. ''When that battery gets low on our cellphones, we plug them back in. We have to recharge, too.''
The Falcons squandered a chance to build a commanding lead in the division race, surrendering a season-worst 208 yards rushing to the Eagles and turning in their lowest-scoring game of the season.
An offense that came into the game leading the league in scoring ran only 48 plays and managed just 11 first downs, continually facing third-and-long situations that it couldn't convert. Philadelphia finished with a commanding edge in time of possession, holding the ball for more than 38 minutes.
While touching on those troubling signs, Quinn stressed that the Falcons still have all their goals within reach. They're 1 1-2 games ahead of Tampa Bay and New Orleans (both 4-5) and another game ahead of the defending NFC champion Carolina Panthers (3-6).
''There are a number of things we're doing well,'' Quinn said. ''I don't want to lose sight of that.''
After watching film and getting treatment on Monday, the Falcons planned to take the rest of the week off. Quinn said each player will receive a binder, detailing things they need to improve on during the time away, and a schedule to maintain their conditioning.
Also, each player will be reminded not to do anything that will bring embarrassment to themselves or the team.
''Rule number one for us is protect the team,'' Quinn said. ''Whether you're in town or back in your hometown or wherever you may go, have a real conscience for your brother. We're on to something pretty good here.''
Linebacker Paul Worrilow, his arms all skinned and bruised up from the grind of the season, said he simply looks forward to spending time with his wife and 19-month-old daughter.
''We've been at it for a while,'' Worrilow said. ''It's a great chance for us to get our bodies back and get ready for the second half of the season.''
In a sign of how confident the Falcons are, they consider this the midway point of their season. That would mean playing four playoff games; in other words, getting all the way to the Super Bowl.
''That's kind of the thought: Get your body ready to go through what we just went through,'' Worrilow said. ''Everybody's effort has to be top notch, top level. If there's something you can do to get your game better, you owe to everyone else in this locker room. That's how everybody feels.''
Notes: Punter and kickoff specialist Matt Bosher sustained a relapse of a hamstring injury that bothered him earlier in the season, forcing kicker Matt Bryant to take over the punting duties at the end of Sunday's game. Quinn said he doesn't think Bosher's injury is as serious as it looked and expects him to be ready to return against Arizona. But the Falcons might have to consider bringing in another punter next week for practice, just to ensure that Bosher has time to fully recover.
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