Falcons offer support for Jason Snelling

Although Jason Snelling put himself in a bad situation, the Atlanta Falcons running back has the support of his teammates.

Snelling, who was arrested early Friday morning on misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession (less than 1 ounce) and possession of drug paraphernalia, decided to remain away from the team during Sunday's 41-28 loss at Tampa Bay. Head coach Mike Smith said Snelling rejoined the Falcons on Monday. Snelling is expected to address the media during an open locker room session starting at 8:10 p.m. The NFL is aware of the situation and is reviewing the matter.

The organization wanted Snelling to make the trip to Tampa and try to work through the adversity, but Snelling felt it was best to take some personal time to get his mind right.

Veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez talked about what type of advice he would offer Snelling.

"I'd tell him, `Hey, you made a mistake and it's up to you to go out there and make it right,'” Gonzalez said. "One thing that I know for sure is that we all have his back. He's a teammate. He's a brother of ours. He's been around this team for a long time. He's been a big part of this team.

"So for him, he's got to figure some things out. And that's probably why he didn't play this week. When he comes back, we'll have opened arms for him. And hopefully this is something that he learns from. He made a mistake; no doubt about it. He's got to correct it. He's got to bounce back.''

Safety William Moore dealt with his own arrest on battery charges this offseason, so he can relate to being in such a difficult situation.

"You move forward and put it in your past,'' Moore said. "We make mistakes. We're not only football players but we're human beings, too. That's not to say everybody should just forget about it. But you just have to move forward and basically just make better decisions.''

In terms of the football impact of Snelling's arrest, he could have helped Steven Jackson and the running game against the Buccaneers. Of the Falcons' three primary running backs -- Jackson, Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers -- Snelling had the highest yards-per-carry average of three going into Sunday at 3.7 yards per rush.

Jackson offered his take on Snelling's predicament.

"I think the biggest thing when guys make a mistake, you tend to isolate yourself,'' Jackson explained. "And I think that's probably the worst thing you can do. You need to be around your brothers. You need to be around your teammates for support to get through this and weather the storm.

"It's obviously something you don't want to be associated with, but we all make mistakes and have to help each other get through it.''

Snelling is scheduled to appear at Winder (Ga.) Municipal Court on Dec. 20 to enter his plea. Winder police officer Chris Cooper said Snelling was arrested early Friday morning following a traffic stop. Cooper said officers pulled over Snelling's SUV after noticing it weaving and crossing the center line.

Cooper said officers smelled marijuana inside the vehicle and determined Snelling did not have a valid driver's license or insurance. He also was cited for an improper use of a dealer plate.

Snelling was released after posting $3,121 bond.