FLOWERY BRANCH – Back from Canton and ready for Day 10!
The training camp-train rolls on down the tracks, picking up some steam as it’s headed for exhibition game opener against the MIami Dolphins at 7 p.m. Friday at the Georgia Dome.
With the Tennessee Titans coming to town and the Falcons a little antsy over the fights, Ra’Shede Hageman’s injury and Terren Jones’ plight, it should be an interesting day at the Branch.
The Falcons return to the field with a closed morning walk-through and a full practice — no live tackling — with the Titans that is open to the public at 3 p.m. today.
Jones left the field on a stretcher and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. The team has not provided any updates on his status.
Hageman told people close to him that the injury was a hairline fracture, but that he would practice Monday with a cast. The Falcons later Sunday night said it was not a fracture.
Hopefully, we can get a full and accurate medical disclosure for the readers and fans on both of the players.
Hageman’s situation causes us to flash back to last season’s under-reporting by the team of Roddy White’s ankle sprain.
The problem is that the Falcons have a history of under-reporting injuries in the name of competitive balance. (BTW, they are not the only team in the league that does this.)
That goes back to Peria Jerry’s 2009 knee injury through Roddy White’s injury last season in the exhibition season. So, we have to scrutinize the team’s medical information.
So, I expect that coach Mike Smith will give us something. Perhaps even the MRI showing there’s no fracture.
That would be like “Christmas in August!”
Back to White.
After White was injured at Baltimore last season, the team insisted that the ankle sprain was not that severe. About three weeks later he tried to play in the season-opener against the Saints and clearly was not 100 percent.
After the game White revealed that he suffered a high right ankle sprain, a more severe injury that he was told would take a month to recover from.
White also later revealed the team’s rationale in under-reporting injuries and minimally complying with the league’s medical reporting rules.
After White finished the game with two catches for 19 yards, he went on a twitter rampage reminding his followers that he plays “real” football and not fantasy football.
White twitted: “No I can’t give out an injury report before the game. I play real football and it would be stupid to tip the other team off and say I’m hurt.”
After the game, White told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution how bad the injury really was: “Yeah. It’s hard to cut. It’s hard to do just about everything at the position. No excuses. When you go out there, you try to win.”
He said “it will be maybe a few more weeks before I can go out there and be myself.”
He was essentially a decoy.
Other than Hageman is a prized second-round draft pick and is expected to help the Falcons stop the run and win back the trenches this season, there’s no apparent reason to under-report the injury.
Also, assistant head coach/wide receivers Terry Robiskie, offensive line coach Mike Tice and running backs coach Gerald Brown are speaking to the media today.
Check back later for updates.