Atlanta Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud misses practice with concussion


Nov 21, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud (28) breaks up a pass intended for New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson (82) during the second half at the Georgia Dome. The Saints defeated the Falcons 17-13. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The words “concussion” and “protocol” are never fun in today’s NFL, but that is exactly where Falcons starting safety Thomas DeCoud has landed this week.

John Manasso of FOX Sports reports that Mike Smith announced DeCoud’s status on Wednesday as being under the concussion protocol. As a rule, that doesn’t rule DeCoud out for Sunday’s game with Washington, but it certainly doesn’t speak favorably of his availability that he is only in stage 1 on Wednesday afternoon.

On the season, the 28-year-old safety has 58 tackles and 2 pass deflections, but anyone who has watched the team closely has certainly noted some struggles in pass coverage. DeCoud has been benched on a couple of occasions, and his simple exclusion from the lineup isn’t that damaging of a blow for Sunday’s prospects. However, concussions are nothing to mess with (which we’ve learned more and more over the past few months), and hopefully, he’ll be back and ready to go soon.

In his stead, the Falcons could use Zeke Motta a great deal on Sunday, and he’ll be put to the test by a presumably more pass-first attack, led by Kirk Cousins instead of Robert Griffin III. Stay tuned for more details as they arise.