When the Atlanta Falcons begin their preseason against the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday, it'll be without tight end Tony Gonzalez, although that isn't due to injury. Instead, Falcons head coach Mike Smith told reporters that Gonzalez made commitments to his family before he elected to return to the team, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"His son is starting football this week," Smith said of Gonzalez in his press conference on Monday. "It's his first season of tackle football and he's going to be with him. Our plan is that Tony will be missing the first preseason game but he will play in the last two preseason games."
Gonzalez, 37, is entering his 17th season in the NFL and his fifth season with the Falcons. In the 12 seasons prior, Gonzalez played for the Kansas City Chiefs, the team that selected him in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft.
For the sixth time in his career, Gonzalez received First-Team All-Pro honors in 2012 as well as his 13th trip to the Pro Bowl. Gonzalez finished the season with 93 receptions for 930 yards and eight touchdowns, as well as 14 receptions and two touchdowns in the postseason.