Josh D. Weiss-US PRESSWIRE
The Falcons practiced Thursday without two starters in their secondary.
Cornerback Asante Samuel remained out of practice with a bad shoulder and safety William Moore was held out for a second straight day Thursday. Moore -- the reigning NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his breakout, two-interception game in a win over the New Orleans Saints last week -- is nursing a bad hamstring.
The Falcons (11-1) have clinched the NFC South and have a decent lead in the race for home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs, so it's likely the team will be less apt to rush back its starters from injuries. That strategy could start as early as Sunday in Carolina to play the Panthers (3-9).
The fourth-year Moore is having his best season as a pro, while Samuel has helped solidify the team's secondary in his first year with the team. The former Patriot and Eagle started against New Orleans last week, but left early after re-aggravating his shoulder.