The Falcons revved up their running game in the two games before the bye to climb to 4-3, but now they must replace their lead-blocking fullback, Ovie Mughelli.
Mughelli was placed on injured reserve and Mike Cox was signed. Jason Snelling, who plays fullback and running back, will get a chance to fill Mughelli's Pro Bowl cleats.
"We're going to miss Ovie," coach Mike Smith said. "Ovie had surgery (on his right knee Oct. 31), and he will be looking at a significant recovery time. Of course, any time you miss a guy or lose a guy like Ovie who's been an integral part of our run game, we're going to have to have some other player step up."
Some of the Falcons were not pleased with the hit that Detroit safety Louis Delmas made on Mughelli that ended his season.
"The NFL has to make a rule about that," wide receiver Roddy White said. "Guys going out in the flat and they can't see, and you get your knees cut from under you like that. It's tough, especially when you are playing on turf...