NFL Friday Roundup: Falcons Face 49ers, Goodell Backs Vick As Pro Bowl Captain
The Atlanta Falcons will be in California on Sunday to take on the San Francisco 49ers.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn will be facing one of his former staff members: Kyle Shanahan.
Shanahan helped Atlanta get to Super Bowl 51 in 2017 as the team’s offensive coordinator.
Now, Shanahan has helped San Francisco become one of the top teams in the league, boasting a record of 11-2. Conversely, the Falcons (4-9) are looking to finish out a disappointing season on a high note.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who earned an MVP award under Shanahan during the 2016 season, praised his former coach.
“I feel like I made big jumps in the two years we were together,” Ryan said. “I’m happy for him, that he’s having great success.”
Ryan will also be facing one of his family members for the first time on Sunday.
His cousin, Mike McGlinchey, is an offensive tackle for the 49ers.
Atlanta and San Francisco will face off at 4:25 p.m. Sunday.
NFL Commissioner Supports Michael Vick’s Participation in 2020 Pro Bowl
The NFL said Michael Vick will be a part of the league's Pro Bowl game next month despite a popular petition asking Vick to be barred from the event.
The formers Falcons quarterback spent nearly two years in federal prison for running a dog-fighting ring at his home in Virginia.
After the league announced that Vick would serve as a honorary captain for the 2020 Pro Bowl, online petitions began circulating to protest the move, receiving hundreds of thousands of signatures.
This week, commissioner Roger Goodell said he doesn't plan to alter his decision, arguing that Vick has paid his debt to society:
I know there are people out there that will never forgive him and he knows that,” Goodell said. “But I think this is a young man who has taken his life in a positive direction and we support that.”
Vick has attempted to make inroads with the pet-loving community since his release from prison, partnering with the Humane Society in the group’s anti-dogfighting campaigns.
The Pro Bowl, which is a showcase game for the NFL's top players, will take place on Jan. 26 in Orlando.