Falcons uncertain about kicking situation

The Falcons are not certain about their kicking situation, but are expecting punter Michael Koenen, who suffered a concussion, will be cleared to play this week.

"Our kicker had a death in his family over the weekend, so he is not here today," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "His father passed over the weekend. I don't have an update on where Matt is (health-wise).

"Michael, we think he's going to be fine. It's just a matter of seeing how he feels over the next couple of days."

Bryant's father, Casey Bryant, died Christmas night in Bridge City, Tex., from complications from Lou Gehrig's Disease, according to news reports. Funeral services are Tuesday.

The Falcons finished the 31-3 victory over Buffalo with defensive end Kroy Biermann handling the kickoffs and Matt Ryan filling in for Koenen as holder on extra points. Backup quarterback Chris Redman was ready to handle the punting duties but was never called on to kick.

"We had an interesting day on special teams, to say the least," Smith said.

Turner not out for Tampa Bay

The Falcons are hopeful running back Michael Turner (high right ankle sprain), who did not practice at all last week, can return to workouts on Wednesday.

Also, right guard Harvey Dahl (ankle), who practiced one day last week, wound up up missing his fourth straight game.

Ryan (turf toe) will not practice on Wednesday.

"We'll get him some limited reps on Thursday and try to increase them on Friday," Smith said. "We have to make sure he's ready to go."

Climbing the charts

The Falcons defense has moved up to the 17th-ranked unit against the run.

Holding Buffalo to 40 ground yards helped the unit's per-game average drop 5.1 yards, from 116.5 per game to 111.4. The team was ranked 20th last week. Last season, the team allowed 127.9 rushing yards per game.

The Falcons have allowed only one 100-yard rusher this season and have held five of their last six opponents to less than 100 yards rushing.


Defensive end John Abraham, who had one sack on Sunday, moved into a tie for seventh place on the Falcons all-time sack list with Jeff Merrow. Abraham now has 36 sacks over his four seasons with the Falcons. ... Defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux also had a sack against the Bills and now leads the team with 5-1/2. ... Ryan didn't throw an interception against the Bills and his quarterback rating was 103.3. It was his third highest-rated game of the season. He had a 122.2 rating against Carolina on Sept. 20 and a 110 rating against San Francisco on Oct. 11.

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