Atlanta Falcons' John Abraham expected to start vs. 49ers



The Atlanta Falcons plan on having defensive end John Abraham ready to lead their pass rush on Sunday in the NFC title game.

Abraham was limited in practice Friday for the third straight day, but he expects to start when the Falcons (14-3) host San Francisco (12-4-1).

“I feel good,” Abraham said. “My workload was ramped up every day as the week progressed. Everyone is hurt at this time of year, but this is the NFC championship, so we all have to go.”

The Falcons’ injury report includes defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (shoulder), strong safety William Moore (right hand), linebacker Stephen Nicholas (foot) and reserve cornerback Christopher Owens (hamstring).

Babineaux and Abraham are listed as questionable. Moore, Nicholas and Owens are probable, and all three participated fully in practice Friday.


AFC TITLE GAME: New England defensive end Chandler Jones (ankle) and running back Danny Woodhead are listed as probable for Sunday’s against Baltimore.

Four Ravens – fullback Vonta Leach (knee/ankle), running back Bernard Pierce (knee), linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (ankle/back) and receiver David Reed (thigh) – were listed as questionable.


PANTHERS: Mike Shula, who served as the team’s quarterbacks coach the past two seasons. has been named as the team’s new offensive coordinator.

Also, Richard Rodgers was named special teams coordinator after taking over that role on an interim basis last season and Ricky Proehl was promoted as the Panthers new wide receivers coach after working as an assistant in 2012.


JETS: Coming off a season of disappointment and dysfunction, New York started the rebuilding process by hiring Seattle Seahawks executive John Idzik as their new general manager.

Idzik, the fourth GM in Woody Johnson’s 13 years as owner, inherits a 6-10 team, a possible lame-duck coach, a lean roster with a handful of immovable contracts, and a polarizing quarterback in Tim Tebow.

Johnson said last week his plan was to give the next GM the final say on personnel matters.