The Atlanta Falcons will travel to Miami in Week 3 to take on the 2-0 Miami Dolphins on Sunday Sept. 22, and the big question hovering around this injury stricken Falcons team is how well will the youngsters on the defensive side handle the workload moving forward? Some fans could have answered this question already, and could be cancelling their plans for a Falcons Super Bowl party. But Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, a 17-year veteran, is as zen as he’ll ever be.
In a recent interview on AtlantaFalcons.com, Gonzalez reassured reporters by expressing his confidence in Atlanta’s young backups and mentioned that injuries are just a part of this business and something every team has to expect at some point.
“That’s why we have the backups that are going to come in and do the job, hopefully just as well as the starters would, and that’s what is expected of them,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a hard position to be in, but I think they’re up to that challenge. The coaches are going to make adjustments, and we’re going to be fine.”
When it comes to injuries, this isn’t their first rodeo. In fact, when defensive back Brent Grimes went down in 2012 with an Achilles injury, the Falcons’ secondary stepped up along with the rest of the defense, and the Falcons eventually became the second team in NFL history to win seven games by seven or fewer points. In case you forgot, The Falcons also came within 10 yards of their second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history last year.
There is no doubt the Falcons’ backups will be up to the challenge. One Falcon newcomer in particular, rookie linebacker Joplu Bartu, has already shown he is up for it, recording six tackles against the St. Louis Rams in Week 2. When looking at the big picture, this is only Week 3 of the regular season. Running back Steven Jackson will be out two weeks minimum, and if defensive coordinator Mike Nolan can make the right adjustments, come Week 11, linebacker Sean Weatherspoon will be back in the lineup and ready to pick up where he left off. Gonzalez has been in this business a for a long time, so if he can keep the faith, everyone else should do the same.