2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Abraham faces old team after big Seattle game

    2013-10-24 02:31

(Eds: With AP Photos.)
By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - John Abraham came to Arizona strictly as a pass rusher, a 35-year-old player nearing the end of an outstanding career.

But injuries to both of the Cardinals' starting outside linebackers thrust Abraham into the role of an every-down player.

It's a job he's embraced as a chance to show he's still got it.

Last week against Seattle, he provided the evidence, twice jarring the ball from quarterback Russell Wilson to force a turnover.

Now Abraham, the NFL's active career leader in sacks with 124 and forced fumbles with 46, faces his former team, the Atlanta Falcons.

Abraham spent seven highly productive seasons with Atlanta before he was let go in the offseason, as is often the case in the NFL, for someone younger and cheaper.

''I just hope I go to the right sideline,'' he joked.

The Falcons cut Abraham on March 5, saving a reported $5.5 million.

He acknowledged he was disappointed with the way it ended.

''But at the same time it's a business thing,'' Abraham said. ''I've moved on and I'm here now. I wanted to end my career there. ... It hurt when it happened but now I'm OK.''

''It will be different'' facing Abraham, Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan said.

''Because we know how great of a player he is,'' Ryan said. ''He's really playing well this year, had a really good game against Seattle, played a lot of snaps. He was a great teammate when he was here in Atlanta, and certainly I enjoyed my time with him. He made a ton of plays for us throughout most of my career.''

It's not like his performance dropped off in Atlanta. Last season, he had 10 sacks and a career-best and franchise-record six forced fumbles.

Although he will be zeroing in on Ryan, who has been sacked just eight times in six games, Abraham expresses no ill will toward his old quarterback, or any quarterback for that matter.

''Everybody asks me about the quarterbacks,'' Abraham said. ''I love them. That's the reason I get paid. I just don't like the guys in front of him, the tight end, the tackles.''

Abraham was out of work for four months before the Cardinals signed him to a two-year contract.

The idea was to use him as a pass-rushing specialist, only on obvious passing situations.

Abraham went along but wasn't keen on the role.

He would much rather be out there every down.

''You can make a big play on the first play. You never know,'' Abraham said. ''If you're sitting on the bench, you can't do nothing. I'm a team player, but I don't want to be on the bench.''

His chance to be more than a part-time player came when both starting outside linebackers - Sam Acho and Lorenzo Alexander - went down with season-ending injuries the third week of the season.

''I'm not happy how it turned out,'' Abraham said. ''I hate seeing people get hurt. But I'm glad I got a chance to start. I'm an all-time player. I can play anytime you put me on the field. I'm glad I showed I still can play at this stage.''

Abraham got off to a slow start to the season, but his play picked up when he got the starting job.

''He's doing a great job of taking care of his body,'' Arizona coach Bruce Arians said. ''The extra load, 20 snaps a game, he's handled really well. Actually, he's played better. It's helping him get into a good flow.''

Abraham didn't have a sack this season until he twice burst through to knock the ball loose from Russell deep in Seattle territory.

Arians called it ''the best game he's played since he's been here, run and pass.''

Abraham doesn't believe he has anything to prove to the Falcons.

''I think I've proved it over 14 years,'' he said. ''I played seven years for them so they know what I got. I'm trying to show Arizona I've got something. I'm mad it took so long to show up.''

NOTES: Four Arizona players did not practice Wednesday: G Daryn Colledge (back), RB Rashard Mendenhall (toe), OLB Matt Shaughnessy (knee), G Earl Watford (knee). ... Arians said Watford was hurt in a car accident on the way to the team facility on Tuesday.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Bob Baum at www.twitter.com/Thebaumerphx

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Luke WillsonOct 24 10:44p

Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson (groin) will play in the team's Week 8 game, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Crockett GillmoreOct 24 10:32p

Baltimore Ravens rookie TE Crockett Gillmore will receive the start at tight end in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Ravens appear to have plenty of confidence [ More ]

Golden TateOct 24 10:12p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate will be facing the league's 29th ranked pass defense in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Steve JohnsonOct 24 10:08p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson has played only 20 percent of the snaps in the last month, but he's been the team's most effective receiver in that time. [ More ]

Reggie BushOct 24 10:02p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is expected to be inactive for the Week 9 game against the Atlanta Falcons in London, according to a source Friday, Oct. 24.

Calvin JohnsonOct 24 10:02p

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) is unlikely to play in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons in London, according to a source. The team has a bye in [ More ]

Ryan MathewsOct 24 09:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) missed his sixth consecutive game in Week 8 Thursday, Oct. 23, against the Denver Broncos, but he could return to practice as [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 24 09:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) missed his third straight game in Week 8 Thursday, Oct. 23, against the Denver Broncos, but he might be able to return to practice Monday, Oct. 27.

Alan BallOct 24 07:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars are extremely thin at cornerback heading into the team's Week 8 game, with CBs Alan Ball (biceps) out, and Dwayne Gratz (hip flexor) questionable. There is [ More ]

Kevin WilliamsOct 24 06:32p

Seattle Seahawks FB Derrick Coleman (foot), DT Jordan Hill (ankle), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), TE Zach Miller (ankle), C Max Unger (foot), LB Bobby Wagner (toe) and WR Bryan [ More ]

Khalif BarnesOct 24 06:32p

Oakland Raiders OT Khalif Barnes (quadriceps) is expected to start at right tackle in Week 8, but head coach Tony Sparano would not say if Barnes or OT Menelik [ More ]

LaMarr WoodleyOct 24 06:22p

Oakland Raiders DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) are expected to be placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

Dion SimsOct 24 06:02p

Miami Dolphins SS Jimmy Wilson (hamstring) is listed as doubtful for Week 8. LB Koa Misi (ankle) is listed as questionable, while OT Branden Albert (elbow), LS John Denney [ More ]

Billy WinnOct 24 05:52p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring) and DT Phil Taylor (knee) have been ruled out for Week 8. DE Billy Winn (quadriceps) and SS Jim Leonhard (ankle) are listed [ More ]

Justin TuckOct 24 05:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) did not participate in practice Friday, [ More ]

Derrick ColemanOct 24 05:32p

Updating a previous report, Seattle Seahawks RB Derrick Coleman (foot) had surgery to repair a foot injury this week. He is expected to miss at least six weeks.

Brandon BrownerOct 24 05:32p

New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8. OG Dan Connolly (concussion), DE Dominique [ More ]

Johnathan JosephOct 24 05:32p

Houston Texans CB Darryl Morris (ankle) and LB Jeff Tarpinian (knee) have been ruled out for Week 8 against the Tennessee Titans. LBs Jadeveon Clowney (knee), Brian Cushing (knee), [ More ]

Frostee RuckerOct 24 05:22p

Arizona Cardinals TE Troy Niklas (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles. DE Calais Campbell (knee) is questionable, while S Rashad Johnson (knee) and [ More ]

Morgan BurnettOct 24 05:12p

Green Bay Packers DE Datone Jones (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the New Orleans Saints. S Morgan Burnett (calf) is questionable, while CB Sam Shields [ More ]

James StarksOct 24 05:12p

Green Bay Packers RB James Starks (ankle) was limited in practice for the second straight day Friday, Oct. 24, but is probable for Week 8 against the New Orleans [ More ]

Lance BriggsOct 24 05:02p

Chicago Bears LB Jonathan Bostic (back) and LB Lance Briggs (ribs) were limited in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and are doubtful for Week 8. S Danny McCray (knee) did [ More ]

Ryan ClarkOct 24 05:02p

Washington Redskins CB Tracy Porter (hamstring) and FS Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) were limited during practice Friday, Oct. 24. DE Chris Baker (thigh), OT Tyler Polumbus (knee), LB Perry [ More ]

Jack CrawfordOct 24 04:52p

Dallas Cowboys OT Doug Free (foot) and DE Jack Crawford (calf) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24. Anthony Spencer (knee) was limited during practice, while LB Bruce [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 24 04:52p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman continues to run with confidence in the absence of RB Montee Ball (groin), and Ball will likely find it hard to win his starting [ More ]

Jonathan GoodwinOct 24 04:32p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (ankle, knee) and LB Kyle Knox (ankle) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and have been ruled out. DT Brodrick Bunkley [ More ]

Nick MangoldOct 24 04:32p

New York Jets LB Trevor Reilly (knee) and WR Greg Salas (wrist, ankle) both were limited in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and are questionable for Week 8. OT Oday [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 24 04:32p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Christopher Owens (knee) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the St. Louis Rams. WR Junior Hemingway (hamstring) and S Eric Berry (ankle) are [ More ]

Khiry RobinsonOct 24 04:22p

New Orleans Saints RB Khiry Robinson (forearm) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8.

Jo-Lonn DunbarOct 24 04:22p

St. Louis Rams C Tim Barnes (shoulder) and CB Brandon McGee (foot) are both out for Week 8 against the Kansas City Chiefs. CBs Janoris Jenkins (knee) and Trumaine [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 24 04:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) said he won't rush back to play until his ankle is fully healed. 'It's our job to help this team win, and [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 24 04:12p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group