The Atlanta Falcons are dealing with the worst-case scenario of playing your starters when you've already sewn up a playoff spot. Defensive end and leader John Abraham hurt his ankle against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was helped off the field by two trainers before being carted off the field, according to tweets from the team.
As the Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud says in this tweet, "let the scrutiny begin'" as the league's coaches and organizations always go back and forth about playing their regulars in games that don't matter as much late in season or resting them for the playoffs. Both sides have arguments, but when players the magnitude of Abraham go down for a team like the Falcons, who are already comfortable in their playoff position, resting players gets more ammo as the right thing to do.
Abraham has 33 tackles and 10 sacks this season, but only one sack in his last five games. He has 122 sacks for his career and is a major cog in the Atlanta defense. If he is lost for any portion of the playoffs, it will be a major blow to the Falcons.