FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -John Abraham promises he will play Sunday at San Diego.
The Falcons' three-time Pro Bowl defensive end didn't return after sustaining a mild concussion in last week's win over Carolina. Tied for third in the NFL with 12 sacks, Abraham vows he'll be in the lineup when Atlanta (7-4) visits San Diego (4-7). He participated in practice Friday for the third straight day.
``I'm good,'' Abraham said. ``I'll be ready to go.''
Abraham was already battling injuries to his neck and shoulder when he rushed from the left side against a Panthers double-team and got knocked backward and onto the Georgia Dome turf. He walked off the field without help early in the fourth quarter, but team trainers quickly diagnosed a mild concussion.
Though Abraham lobbied to return, defensive line coach Ray Hamilton wasn't going to risk that his best pass rusher would hurt himself even worse, particularly after Harry Douglas ran back a punt for a 61-yard touchdown and a 38-21 lead.
``I could have, but Harry pretty much canceled that with the punt return for a touchdown,'' Abraham said. ``Ray wanted me in there, but it was the smart thing to do. I had a little head injury, and I didn't want to go in there and get knocked out again.''
Abraham's 79 1/2 sacks since the start of his rookie season with the New York Jets in 2000 rank second among active players. Against the Chargers, Atlanta will face an offense that's allowed just 16 sacks this year.
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