HOUSTON — Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn said he feels better about center Alex Mack’s status for Sunday’s Super Bowl LI matchup against New England, despite Mack being limited in practice this week as a result of a left fibula injury.
“I felt good after watching Alex last night, because I felt good about what he was able to do on the things we’re going to ask him to do in the game,” Quinn told Super Bowl pool reporter Peter King on Friday.
“It’s going to hurt, but a lot of guys are playing through stuff. The important thing is Alex’s mind is clear. He needed to test [his leg] and have guys go on him full speed, and he was able to do that Wednesday and Thursday.”
Mack was not given a “questionable” designation on the team’s final injury report, meaning he is cleared to play. Wide receiver Julio Jones (toe) and defensive end Dwight Freeney (calf) also are good to go despite being either held out or limited in practice this week.
If Mack suffers any type of setback, the Falcons have Ben Garland prepared to step in at center.
Mack suffered the injury in the NFC Championship Game against Green Bay. He missed one play immediately, then sat out the entire last series. A four-time Pro Bowler, he did not miss a game during the regular season.
According to the pool report, the Falcons will drive to NRG Stadium to walk around the field and the locker room Saturday, then return to Rice University for a final walk-through practice.