FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons running back Steven Jackson met with the media today for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury on Sept. 15.
He returned to practice on Wednesday and plans to play against Arizona on Sunday.
Here’s what he had to say:
ON HOW HE FEELS: “Good. Going to get out there this afternoon and see how it feels and just go from there, being mindful that the game is Sunday and now Wednesday.. Looking forward to it.”
ENCOURAGED: “The leg is feeling a lot better. I've seen the doctor more times than I'd like to and finally he and I are on the same page. It's been encouraging enough, the progress that I've made, to give it a go.”
ON ANY PRESSURE TO RETURN TO BOOST MEEK RUN GAME: “Overall, as a team, we haven't been where we want to in the running game. But I feel no added pressure from that. The organization, the training staff have been more than willing to work with me to make sure I'm 100 percent. Once I get back out there it's like treating it like Day One of training camp: getting back my run reads, getting back my fits with the offensive linemen and just giving them words of encouragement. That's the veteran leadership that I bring.”
HOW CLOSE TO 100 PERCENT: “I don't think any time after Week 1 you are 100 percent. But I feeling up to this point well enough to give it a go and be out there and be effective like Day One.”
ON HOW TOUGH IT’S BEEN TO WATCH: “It's been difficult to watch. To see my teammates go out there and battle, being here seven days a week with those guys and not being able to participate and not be able to maybe be a difference-maker in a game or two, it's been very frustrating. But I have learned a lot by just actually becoming coach. Now I think I really know the details of some of the plays I probably didn't know because I was so new to the offense.”
If we were to list all of the reasons the Falcons morphed from a potential Super Bowl contender to the flotsam and jetsam of the NFL this season, Steven Jackson’s exploding hamstring would not rank first or second.