ATLANTA -- Rookie first-round draft pick Vic Beasley had arguably his most impressive outing as an Atlanta Falcons player Sunday, including a strip-sack of Cam Newton in the final minutes that was recovered by Adrian Clayborn to secure a 20-13 upset of the Panthers.
It was Beasley's fourth sack of the season, which is the most by a Falcons rookie ever, surpassing Joplo Bartu's 3.5 in 2013. Beasley's four sacks also are one sack ahead of Clayborn for the team lead.
Still, Beasley is far from the double-digit sack goal he set for himself coming into the season, and he has just one game remaining. But Beasley refuses to use playing with a torn labrum in his right shoulder as an excuse for not being as productive as he wanted to be.
The injury surfaced during organized team activities. And it's not uncommon for NFL players to play with a torn labrum, depending on the degree of stability within the shoulder.
"No excuses, not at all," Beasley said. "I mean, I had the labrum injury, but I'm a tough guy. I play through pain. It hasn't limited me from anything. I worked hard throughout (organized team activities) and throughout the spring and tried to come out here and put my best foot forward for this organization.
"I make no excuses, man. Obviously (Sunday), I was able to affect the quarterback a lot. I'm just going to keep working. I'll just rehab this shoulder in the offseason, but it's no big deal."
Two of Beasley's sacks were against Newton. The other two were against Eli Manning and Brandon Weeden. He has five quarterback hits, two forced fumbles, an interception and 26 tackles (two for losses).
"I see myself progressing as a player," Beasley said. "Coach (Dan) Quinn always says, `Do right longer,' and I just continue to work hard in practice and try to make it transfer over to the game."
We'll see how Beasley makes it transfer over to next season.