Falcons' Tevin Coleman brushes off sickle cell concerns to soar in Denver

DENVER -- Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman didn't go into Sunday's game thinking about worst-case scenarios.

His concerns over how being a carrier of the sickle cell trait could have a negative effect in Denver's altitude were well-documented, although such a disorder is more of an issue in extreme heat.

Coleman didn't have any health issues in Sunday's 23-16 win over the Denver Broncos. In fact, he racked up 163 yards on 10 touches. He hauled in his first career touchdown reception on a 31-yard pass from Matt Ryan in the third quarter, a play that gave the Falcons breathing room at 20-3.

"I put it out of my mind," Coleman said of the health concerns. "I wasn't even thinking about it because I knew everybody had my back. The trainers, they had my back. Every time I came to the sideline, there was something to drink. There was oxygen. They prepared me to go out there and play."

Coleman led the Falcons with a career-high 132 receiving yards on four catches (six targets). He looked like a seasoned receiver when he lined up in the slot and beat linebacker Brandon Marshall down the field for the touchdown.

"I mean, yeah, right now I'm going out there and making big-time catches and running routes," said Coleman, who was not known for his hands last season. "It's kind of half and half now: half-running back/half-receiver."

A hybrid, right?

"You could say that," Coleman said with a laugh.