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John Abraham, Dunta Robinson injured in Falcons' loss

The Atlanta Falcons played to win Sunday at the Georgia Dome. They lost 22-17 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers anyway.

That wasn't even the most discouraging development of the day for the NFC's No. 1 playoff seed.

The Falcons lost starting cornerback Dunta Robinson to a head injury in the first quarter and defensive end John Abraham to an ankle injury in the fourth quarter. Abraham was carted to the Falcons' locker room after leaving the game. Falcons coach Mike Smith revealed in postgame remarks that Abraham's injury was minor.

The Buccaneers' win ends their five-game losing streak and gives Tampa Bay its seventh win of the season, but this loss is all about the Falcons' issues. They've lost two NFC South games in recent weeks to sub-.500 teams: the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay. More importantly, Atlanta might have lost two key players to injury.

Smith will be questioned for playing his starters throughout a "meaningless" game, but we can't criticize him that much. It was just bad luck. Atlanta isn't good enough to simply take two weeks off. Abraham and Robinson survived 15 games, and its unfortunate they were injured here, but you can't play football afraid to get hurt.

The Falcons also can't play like this again or they'll have yet another one-and-done trip to the playoffs.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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