Dunta Robinson exits with head injury

Updated: December 30, 2012, 4:01 PM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Falcons lost two key starters to injuries Sunday against Tampa Bay as cornerback Dunta Robinson suffered a head injury and defensive end John Abraham hurt his left ankle.

Robinson was injured on the Falcons' first defensive series when his helmet hit Doug Martin's on the running back's 3-yard gain. He was taken to the locker room for evaluation and did not return.

Abraham, the NFL's active sacks leader, was injured early in the fourth quarter on a sack attempt when teammate Peria Jerry fell on him as both players were trying to sack the Buccaneers' Josh Freeman.

Abraham walked off the field with assistance, but rode to the locker room on a cart.

Another starter, cornerback Asante Samuel, hurt his right arm in the first quarter, but returned for the next series, knocking down a deep pass to Vincent Jackson and forcing a third down five plays later. Samuel picked off Freeman in the third quarter to set up Atlanta's first touchdown.

The Falcons were hoping to keep their starters healthy going into next week's bye. Atlanta has the NFC's No. 1 playoff seed.

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Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press