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Injuries continue to pile up for Falcons in loss to Saints

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ATLANTA – The Falcons’ injury situation continued to worsen in their 43-37 overtime loss to the Saints on Sunday.

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On the second play of overtime, starting free safety Ricardo Allen left the field with the help of two trainers and was then carted off into the locker room.

“Don’t want to speculate too much, but it was serious enough that he was down for the game,” Quinn said of Allen after the game.

Late in the fourth quarter rookie linebacker Foye Oluokun also limped off the field, but he was able to return to the game.

The Falcons were already thin at linebacker with starter Deion Jones going on injured reserve after Week 1, but that’s not the only position where the team’s depth is being tested.

Starting strong safety Keanu Neal is out for the remainder of the season after injuring his knee in Week 1, and starting left guard Andy Levitre is also out for the year with a torn triceps he suffered in Week 2. The Falcons were also without running back Devonta Freeman and defensive ends Takkarist McKinley and Derrick Shelby on Sunday.

As the injuries begin to mount up, the Falcons will have to weigh every possible option moving forward.

“Thomas and I just discussed that, and we’ll continue to discuss that afterwards,” Quinn said. “We have some other guys with some versatility that we’ll try to plug around. We’ll see what the length of the injuries are. That would certainly make a difference if we went outside to consider looking at anybody else. If it’s shorter term, then likely we would stay inside.”

At this point, Neal and Levitre are the only two players who have been ruled out for the season. Jones is expected to be back at some point in the second half of the season, and his return would be a catalyst for the defense, which allowed 534 yards on Sunday.

Other players could be back sooner, and possibly as early as next week. Quinn expressed optimism for the latter after the game.

“I have a lot of faith in what we do, and the scheme and the system,” Quinn said. “So tonight, when there’s a moment like tonight, where we don’t nail those, we’ve clearly shown we have work to do. There’ll be some guys coming back, for sure. We know that, and how do we feature those guys when they do come back and how quickly they do? That’s for sure a factor, and I’m hopeful we get some of the injured guys back for next week.”

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