Not only is this a pretty big hit for Atlanta, but it’s a sad story for Ewing – a former Wisconsin walk-on – who had just stepped foot on a professional football field for the very first time, when he suffered a torn ACL while punt return blocking on special teams.
“Unfortunately, we have to announce that Bradie Ewing will miss the entire season after sustaining a knee injury in last night’s contest,” Falcons head coach Mike Smith said on Friday. “As a result, we will be placing him on injured reserve tomorrow. Bradie is a talented player and I know he and our training staff will do everything they can to ensure a full recovery.”
Ewing went down with 6:56 remaining in the first quarter of the Falcons first preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens. He was helped off the field by trainers, and then was taken to the locker room on a cart and did not return to the game.
Ewing was a fifth-round (157th overall) pick, and he was expected to compete with veteran Mike Cox for the starting fullback position, which was vacated when the Falcons released Pro Bowler Ovie Mughelli to free up salary cap space.
It’s unfortunate that injuries like this have to occur in meaningless exhibition games. Coaches, players and fans alike have lobbied for years to try to have more safety precautions put into the preseason, or to possibly even eliminate the games.
When you consider the ramifications for a team, and an individual player, that are a result of unnecessary injuries to key personnel, I can find no flaw in the logic behind eliminating preseason games completely, and moving to controlled scrimmages similar to the one the Falcons held with the Tennessee Titans.