The Atlanta Falcons brought center Alex Mack over from the Browns in the offseason, and he’s been a huge addition to the team, a big part of the reason they have the NFL’s No. 1 offense. He also has a left fibula injury, and he’s been limited in practices leading up to the Super Bowl. Recently, head coach Dan Quinn said:
“I just know his toughness and strength is so great. The good thing is, I know he’s feeling better than he did in the NFC Championship Game. But yeah, I’m concerned. I’m not panicked, but I’m concerned.”
He also talked about the work that both centers had to put in, saying:
“This game, because of the multiple fronts by New England, requires a lot of prep work by the center. Identifying this look, this front, this player’s positioning, they [Mack and backup center Ben Garland] spend a lot of time in the film room together normally…and I would say it’s been even more these two weeks because this opponent requires even more.”
The injury to Mack is disheartening in some ways because it happened near the end of the Falcons’ rout of the Green Bay Packers. The good news is that the Super Bowl break gave him two weeks to get healthy, which should help, though it probably won’t be clear exactly where he’s at until that offense takes the field to square off against the New England Patriots.
The Falcons also have other injuries, though issues with WR Julio Jones and DE Dwight Freeney appear to be minor.