FLOWERY BRANCH – Defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux returned to practice on Wednesday after serving his one game suspension.
The suspension resulted from a drug related arrest in December. He later pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors.
He watched the Falcons 15-9 lost to Pittsburgh on television.
“It was kind of weird,” Babineaux said. “I had a kind of empty feeling in my stomach, not being out there with them. I had to let the guys know that I (was supporting them). I wish I could have been out there with them, but they knew I was thinking about them and hoping that they could do their best.”
Babineaux wouldn’t say if they threw something at the TV after Rashard Mendenhall scored on the 50-yard walk-off touchdown run.
“The guys fought hard the whole game,” Babineaux said. “To let one play end it like that was very disappointing. I think the guys played very well without me. They had a great game. I knew the guys were going to play good.”
Babineaux continued to work out while out on his suspension and he was allowed to get treatment for his shoulder.
“Mentally, I was just thinking about what I would do if I was there,” Babineaux said. “I was pretty much trying to go through my own routine in my mind and try to get ready for this week.”
In 2009, Babineaux led the Falcons with a career-high six sacks. That total was the second highest among all defensive tackles.
The Falcons missed Babineaux’s penetration moves against the Steelers. He ranks second in the league among defensive tackles with 35.5 tackles for loss since since 2005, according to STATS, Inc.
Last season he tied for the league lead with 8.5 tackles for losses and his 18 stuffs over the last two seasons is tops in the league.