Matt Ryan’s left shoulder has recovered

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The end of the Falcons season was doubly painful for quarterback Matt Ryan.

Not only was he unable to stop the 49ers from coming back for a 28-24 victory in the NFC Championship Game, he also suffered an injury to his left shoulder in the final minutes of the fourth quarter on a hit by 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks. Ryan was diagnosed with a sprained AC joint, an injury that coach Mike Smith says his quarterback has already rehabbed enough to get started on other offseason work.

“He’s been working in the training room and this week he started working in the weight room,” Smith said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He’s recovered and we absolutely expect him to well beyond 100 percent when we start our offseason program.”

With Ryan apparently in good health, the Falcons can move on to addressing the fact that the quarterback’s contract is up after the 2013 season. The team could opt to give him an extension this offseason or they could wait until closer to the time when he could hit the open market. Whatever approach they choose, the chances of Ryan leaving the Falcons are about as slim as they could possibly get without ceasing to exist altogether.