The Falcons beat a very good Buccaneers team on Sunday in Tampa Bay, and Atlanta did it without their most versatile offensive weapon in Bijan Robinson.
The 8th overall pick didn’t have a single touch in the first half and finished the game with one carry, which came late in the fourth quarter. Initially, it seemed Arthur Smith was up to his old ways of not using his top 10 draft picks, which he has vehemently defended with his now infamous “this isn’t fantasy football” line.
Fortunately, it seems that wasn’t the case. The FOX broadcast reported at halftime that Robinson was not feeling well, and then he himself confirmed that report following the Falcons win.
“It (started) last night, I was feeling weird,” Robinson said. “I woke up, just completely out of it. I tried to take medicine so I could be good for the game. But my head was hurting. Bad. I don’t know what was going on. I tried to go in pregame, but then coach (Arthur) Smith said, ‘We’ll be all right. Let’s get you right.'”
The Falcons are in a position to handle something like this as they boast the deepest backfield in football. Tyler Allgeier led the team with 21 carries, battering the Tampa defense for 59 yards. Cordarrelle Patterson had the biggest game of his 2023 campaign, adding another 56 yards on just 10 carries.
Atlanta’s offense moved the ball consistently, but there’s no arguing the kind of impact Bijan Robinson has when he’s on the field. Thankfully, he seems to think he’ll be full go next week as the Falcons travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans.
“I don’t care what I’m going through, I’m going to push through,” Robinson said. “But at the same time, I know it’s a long season. I know that Coach Smith has the best interest at heart for me. Knowing when he has a plan and we have a plan, I’m going to go with it and not bother with it. I’ll be good next week.”
The Falcons are at their best with Robinson on the field. It’s good to see them overcome adversity like we saw against the Bucs, but having the rookie superstar available improves their chances of winning dramatically.