There is a silver lining for Atlanta Falcons fans.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported following the game that Ryan will not need surgery but isn’t out of the woods yet (via Twitter):
Update on Matt Ryan: Sprained AC joint in left shoulder. No surgery needed. Falcons now waiting to see if he still needs an MRI Monday.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 21, 2013
Ryan, 27, was having an exceptional game, throwing for three touchdowns and nearly 300 yards in the first half. The second half was another story. He finished with those three touchdowns and 396 yards, a postseason franchise record.
The fourth quarter seems to have been when the injury occurred, as Ryan looked visibility uncomfortable and in pain on the field.
San Francisco stepped up defensively and forced two turnovers from the strong-armed signal caller. Both of those takeaways, an interception and a fumble, were in the second half and allowed the Niners to sneak away to New Orleans after looking beaten in the first half.
The Falcons had a chance to take the lead, too. Ryan drove the team down into the red zone late in the fourth quarter but couldn’t punch it in to give his team the lead.
NaVorro Bowman batted away a fourth-down pass attempt from Ryan to Roddy White and the 49ers ran the clock out on the hopes of the Falcons.
Ryan and the Falcons got over the hump by finally winning a playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round. Their luck ran out against the 49ers.
Luckily for them, their team leader should be able to bounce back quickly and be okay in plenty of time before OTAs start this spring.