When Michael Turner missed five games last season with a high-ankle sprain, the Atlanta Falcons got a glimpse of what life was like without the talented running back, who has scored 27 touchdowns and averaged 4.6 yards per carry since he arrived in Atlanta in 2008.
When Turner is healthy, said head coach Mike Smith, the entire offense is given a boost. His presence is a boon to both the running and passing attack and forces defenses into one-on-one situations with the Falcons' receivers and tight ends.
"Mike has the ability, when he has the ball in his hands, to go the distance," said Smith. "And that forces defenses to change their philosophy on how they're going to try and defend us."