FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga.-- When the Atlanta Falcons take the field a week from Sunday in search of their first playoff victory in head coach Mike Smiths five seasons, at least one player will be competing with a heavy heart.
Smith announced on Friday that four-time Pro-Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion Asante Samuel was not at practice all week because his mother Christine had passed away earlier in the week.
She had battled ALS and the funeral will be held on Saturday the day before Asantes 31st birthday. Part of the reason why Samuel said he agreed to a trade from Philadelphia to Atlanta prior to the start of the season was to be closer to his mother, who lived in Florida where he grew up.
Teammates said at times during the season when they had a bit of a break, Samuel would leave to tend to his mother. Samuel has created a foundation, Bring it Home Single Moms, whose mission is to provide housing, education, support and networking to single moms, according to his foundations...