QB Ryan back with Falcons after missing 1 day of practice
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By CHARLES ODUM
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said he'll be ready for Saturday's NFC divisional playoff game at Philadelphia after missing Tuesday's practice for personal reasons.
Ryan was back with the team for Wednesday's practice. He didn't disclose details of his absence, but indicated he was attending to a family matter.
"I just want to thank everybody for their support and outreach. It means a lot to me," Ryan said. "I've always tried to keep my family life private and I hope you can respect that and I'd like to continue to do that moving forward."
Ryan and his wife, Sarah, announced in November they expect to become first-time parents in April with twins.
Coach Dan Quinn said Wednesday there were "no setbacks for him or for us" due to Ryan's excused absence on Tuesday, when the game plan was installed.
"He is one of the best competitors and most professional ballplayers I've ever been around, so no adjustment for that," Quinn said. "We're fortunate he's back here today and back into it."
Ryan attended Tuesday's team meeting before missing practice.
"I was able to get the game plan and kind of get the information I needed yesterday," Ryan said. "I'll be very well prepared for the game on Saturday."
The Eagles (13-3) are the No. 1 seed in the NFC. The Falcons (11-6) beat the Los Angeles Rams 26-13 in a wild-card game last week.
For Ryan, a native of Philadelphia, Saturday's game is a homecoming.
"I'm used to it now," he said. "... The one nice part is there will be a lot of familiar faces, friendly faces after the game, which is always nice."
Ryan hasn't missed a game since Week 15 of the 2009 season, so Tuesday's practice without the 10-year veteran was unusual.
"It was different," said center Alex Mack. "He's a very consistent part and staple of this team. I'm glad he's back today and we'll move forward."
Veteran backup Matt Schaub took Ryan's place in practice on Tuesday.
Ryan is trying to lead the Falcons to a repeat Super Bowl appearance after last year's loss to New England.
Ryan was the NFL MVP in 2016, when he threw 38 touchdown passes with only seven interceptions. He has reached 4,000 yards passing for the seventh straight season, but he passed for only 20 touchdowns with 12 interceptions in the regular season. He completed 21 of 30 passes for 218 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions in the win over the Rams.
NOTES: Quinn strongly denied speculation that offensive coordinator Steve Sarkasian might make a lateral move to Seattle to head the Seahawks' offense. Sarkasian and Seattle coach Pete Carroll worked together at Southern Cal. "Zero chance of that," Quinn said. ... For the second straight day, WR Julio Jones (ankle) did not participate in practice. It has not been unusual for Jones to miss practices early in the week this season but he has not missed a game. ... RB Devonta Freeman (knee), LB LaRoy Reynolds (knee) and WR Mohamed Sanu (knee) were limited.
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Updated January 10, 2018