Expectations for the Atlanta Falcons heading into the 2019 season have been a little mixed. Some NFL power rankings have the Falcons clinging to a Top 10 spot at No. 9 or 10. Others have them much lower at No. 17
One thing is clear based on a tweet from Falcons outside linebacker De'Vondre Campbell. He seems to be suggesting that when the Falcons are fully healthy, they are very tough to beat.
The Falcons never were healthy in 2018. The team lost both starting safeties, Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen, to season-ending injuries by Week 3. Linebacker Deion Jones also suffered an injury in Week 1 and didn't return until December.
That killed the defense. On offense, the Falcons lost running back Devonta Freeman on opening night as well. Freeman returned for just one other game, missing the other 14 weeks of the season.
Going 7-9 without those four major pieces for most of the season was probably an accomplishment. The problem with the assumption that Atlanta will be better with all of them back in 2019 is that they might not return the same player.
Even with modern-day medicine, returning from ACL tears and Achillies injuries, as Neal and Allen sustained last season, is no sure-thing. They may also not return 100 percent to what they were before the injury.
A player such as Freeman could also get hurt again. He has been an injury-plagued running back throughout his career, so there's no guarantee he will be fully healthy in 2019.
While it's awesome Campbell is so excited for the season. He and the rest of the Falcons roster should have a chip on their shoulder and be ready to prove 2018 was a fluke. But to say the Falcons will be better in 2019 because they will be 100 percent healthy probably isn't the most accurate of statements.