Atlanta Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud ruled out for game against Washington


Nov 10, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) stiff arms Atlanta Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud (28) on a run in the first half at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

When the news was released that Falcons starting safety Thomas DeCoud was in stage 1 of the concussion protocol earlier in the week, it seemed like a virtual certainty that he wouldn’t be available when Atlanta hosts Washington on Sunday. Now, we can remove the word “virtual” from the equation.

DeCoud’s confirmed absence as a result of a concussion shouldn’t do too much damage to the already undermanned Atlanta secondary, but it also won’t help. Youngster Zeke Motta has already been getting a lot of snaps in the defensive backfield, and he’ll likely get the bulk of the work in DeCoud’s place.

In the past two weeks, Motta has amassed 9 total tackles, and in the 22-21 loss to Green Bay, he was extremely active throughout the game, grabbing a career-high 6 tackles. Still, the 7th-round rookie from Notre Dame is far from an elite option at the safety position, especially at this stage of his career, and the rest of the Atlanta “back four” will have their work cut out for them.

Sunday’s game has already passed the “weird” test with Robert Griffin III being unceremoniously benched, but this is the first real knock against the Falcons in the match-up, and hopefully, Kirk Cousins won’t be able to take advantage.