Keep an eye on these storylines as the Falcons go into next Sunday's game against the New York Giants looking for their first road-win of the season.
The announcement Tuesday that safety will miss significant time due to a shoulder injury was a jolt in more ways than one. Of course, he's proven productive during his six-year career, but in 2014, the defense was handed to him to lead.
With Sean Weatherspoon suffering a season-ending injury during OTAs, Moore took the reins and began to run with him. Now out for a minimum of eight weeks, Moore's presence and leadership will be a felt void in the defensive huddle.
Head coach Mike Smith spoke to Moore earlier Tuesday and impressed upon him how much the Falcons will still need to lean on him for help and guidance. Smith said he expects Moore to be present with the team every day during his recovery, in the film and meeting rooms, helping his teammates prepare for the games without him on the field.
"We're going to need his leadership, much like Sean," Smith said Tuesday. "Sean is with us in the meetings. We expect that William will do that, as well. He's designated to return, so he's a guy that's definitely going to be back before the season's over, so he's a guy that can help us win games."
Smith said second-year safety Kemal Ishmael will be the start in Moore's absence, and although Ishmael has played well in his limited time in 2014, Moore's presence off the field can be an asset to the young defensive player.