Originally created 10/10/05

Hartwell might be gone for season



ATLANTA - Atlanta linebacker Edgerton Hartwell might be lost for the season after an Achilles' tendon injury Sunday.

Falcons coach Jim Mora said backup cornerback Chris Cash also might be out for the year with an arm injury. Mora said he would be surprised if either player returns this season.

"When they take them into the locker room right way, it doesn't look good," Mora said. "I would say that they are both probably done unless we get divine intervention."

Hartwell was carted off the field in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter with a right foot injury. Hartwell returned to the sideline midway through the quarter, walking on crutches with his foot in a brace.

EVERYBODY'S HURT: Don't tell New England coach Bill Belichick his team benefited from Michael Vick's absence in Sunday's game against the Falcons.

The Falcons' offense missed Vick's play-making ability in the 31-28 loss at the Georgia Dome, but New England's defense was equally handicapped by injuries to safety Rodney Harrison, cornerbacks Chad Scott, Randall Gay and Tyrone Poole and defensive lineman Richard Seymour.

"Don't tell us about injuries," Belichick said.

Vick missed Sunday's game with soreness in his knee. He sprained a ligament in last Sunday's game against Minnesota and felt pain in the knee all week.

The Falcons listed him as probable on Wednesday's injury report only to downgrade his status to questionable on Saturday.

He was placed on the inactive list Sunday morning and watched the game from the sidelines in street clothes.

"He wasn't ready to play," Mora said. "He wasn't healthy enough to go out and play."

RUSHING OFF TRACK: Atlanta rushed for 116 yards, nearly 100 yards below its season average. The Falcons came into the game averaging an NFL-best 209 yards per game.

Tailback Warrick Dunn, who came in averaging 98 yards, ran for 83. T.J. Duckett had 30 yards on five carries.

The yards Atlanta really missed were from the quarterback position. Matt Schaub ran just twice for three yards. Vick averaged 56 rushing yards in the Falcons' first four games.

Atlanta came into the game on pace to break the NFL's single-season rushing record. The 1978 New England Patriots hold the mark with 3,165 yards.