Falcons safety William Moore was the NFC defensive player of the week for the job he did against the Saints in Week 13, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be at full speed if he’s on the field to attempt making it two straight against the Panthers this weekend.
Moore missed a second straight day of practice for the Falcons on Thursday thanks to an injured hamstring. That makes it two injured starters in the secondary for Atlanta as cornerback Asante Samuel has also missed both days of practice with the shoulder injury that forced him out of the win over the Saints. Coach Mike Smith said that the team would try to get them out on the field again on Friday, but admitted that they’ll be extra cautious with Samuel, who played after not practicing at all last week because of the injury.
“Most certainly,” Smith said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He was only able to play three plays, so we are going to definitely be very cautious and make sure he’s ready to go. He wants to be out there playing, I know that, but we want to make sure he gets cleared by the doctors before we get him out there.”
With the division title wrapped up and a nice-sized lead in the race for home-field advantage, the Falcons can certainly afford caution when it comes to injured players. That’s especially true of players who play important roles on their starting defense.