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Thursday, December 19, 2013
DeCoud feels fine coming off concussion

By Vaughn McClure

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons free safety Thomas DeCoud is not concerned about any lingering effects from the concussion he suffered two games ago against the Green Bay Packers.

DeCoud missed last Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins, but he was cleared to return to full contact Thursday as the Falcons continued preparation for Monday night’s matchup with San Francisco.

DeCoud
"I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking long term, the way concussions have such a huge emphasis on them right now," DeCoud said. "But at the end of day, it’s a contact sport. It’s a part of the game. And I’ve had one before, so it’s not uncharted territory."

DeCoud said he had a concussion once before in college at Cal. He suffered the latest one attempting to tackle Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy near the goal line.

"And I felt pretty good right after it happened," DeCoud said. "I was out and once I came back to, I was feeling pretty good.

"You kind of expect a concussion at some point in your career. You’re going to bump your head. You’ve got 200-pound guys flying round full-speed hitting each other, so it’s going to happen at some point."

DeCoud participated in special teams during the media-viewing portion of Thursday’s practice. He expects to return to the starting lineup after watch rookie Zeke Motta start in his place last week.

In other injury news, linebacker Sean Weatherspoon was not on the practice field as he continues to recover from a right knee injury. Weatherspoon had a noticeable limp as he slowly walked around the locker room.

Tight end Tony Gonzalez was not on the practice field during the open period, either, as the team continues to monitor his lingering toe injury. Wide receiver Darius Johnson (high-ankle sprain) and running back/special-teamer Antone Smith (knee) were on the practice field without helmets.