Every Saturday during the regular season, we will feature a member of the Atlanta Falcons' special teams. This week, it's wide receiver Drew Davis, who just returned to action last week following preseason foot surgery:
Sprinting down the field to cover Matt Bosher's first punt against the Browns last week had to be a relief for Drew Davis.
It was the Falcons receiver's first action since Dec. 29 of last season, when he played 13 offensive snaps and 20 special teams snaps in the season finale against Carolina. Davis started the 2014 season on the physically unable to perform list after having offseason surgery on his left foot.
"It's just out there running around, because that's one of the longest plays in football," Davis said. "You're running 60, 70 yards with the leg Matt Bosher has. It's just about going out there and trying to be physical. It's not too much finesse out there. You're going against big linebackers and other big defensive back-type people. Just being out there running, it helps you get your legs back a little bit. It helps you get your bell rung a couple times. And it gets you back in a football-playing mode."
Davis played all nine of his snaps on special teams against the Browns, and had no lingering concerns about how his surgically repaired foot would hold up.
"I'm to the point now where I think about other things," Davis said. "My body is healthy. My mind's healthy. I'm ready to be playing football again. It's something you just don't think about. The trainers have done a good job of us going on the field and cutting down, breaking and stuff like that. So I'm not really complacent about it."
As Davis explained, he had the same type of foot fracture NBA star Kevin Durant suffered, referred to as a Jones fracture. It's a fracture of the fifth metatarsal of the foot, at the base of the small toe.
"To me, it just happened a little bit over time," Davis said of the injury. "I just knew it was the same when they said what (Durant) had, and the whole fifth metatarsal. I knew what it was from there."
The Falcons obviously want to slowly work Davis back into action, although he could see a few reps on offense this Sunday against Arizona if Roddy White (ankle) is unable to go.
Davis' role on special teams could be key Sunday versus Cardinals return man Ted Ginn Jr. Davis could be key for the rest of the season, as well, considering the Falcons lost their best gunner in Antone Smith (broken leg).
"Antone, when he was playing, he was a real speedy guy, real tough to handle," Davis said. "I'm a bigger guy; more physical. I hope they put (an extra defender) on me. That's going to be a disadvantage to them. Either way, whatever they come with every week, I'm expected to beat it, regardless of what it is."
Special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong talked about having Davis back in the mix.
"I thought he did a solid job for us," Armstrong said of Davis' season debut. "Obviously, it's important to him. He's a leader. He's going to go out there and give you what he can. He was consistent. And then we'll get him a little more this week, trying to ease him back into it."