FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson returned to practice on Wednesday and has been cleared to play against Tampa Bay.
“I’m ready to rock,” said Robinson, who missed the last game against Cincinnati.
He suffered a concussion when he put a hit on Philadelphia receiver DeSean Jackson on Oct. 17. He was fined $50,000 by the league for the hit, but is appealing the fine.
“That bye week came right on time,” Robinson said. “I was here all week getting myself ready to play. I’m feeling good this week.”
With Robinson and safety Thomas DeCoud back, the Falcons secondary will be a full strength for Tampa Bay. DeCoud suffered a head injury against Cincinnati, but he returned to practice on Monday.
Christopher Owens, who took over at right cornerback for Robinson, can return to his nickel back position.
Robinson is impressed with Tampa Bay.
“It’s just a team that’s playing with a lot of confidence,” Robinson said. “Anytime you get a team like that, they are dangerous because they feel like it’s everything that they do and nothing that you do. We just have to make sure that we rattle a little bit of that confidence.”
Quarterback Josh Freeman has directed the Buccaneers to four come-from-behind victories this season. In 16 games as a starter, he’s pulled out six games in the fourth quarter.
“They have a quarterback that is playing some amazing football right now,” Robinson said. “His receivers are catching everything. It’s going to be a tough task. We just have to make sure that we get them off course a little bit.”
Robinson didn’t put much stock in the comments made by Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris about the Bucs being the best team in the NFC.
“That’s just the way that he feels about his team,” Robinson said. “Everybody should feel that their team is the best. He just came out and said it. It’s not really one of those things that we paid too much attention to. We understand that we have to go out there and take care of our business.
“Talking isn’t going to beat anybody at the end of the day. You have to go out there and take care of it on the football field. We have a lot of veterans on this team. We’ve heard it all. We’ve seen it all. Those are the things we don’t really let bother us too much.”
Robinson is not surprised by Tampa Bay’s start.
“Every season brings new challenges,” Robinson said. “So, you don’t know what a team is going to do. There are a lot of teams in the NFC that were predicted to be great and they are struggling right now. You just never know.”
DUNTA ON THE FINE: Robinson hasn’t heard back from the league about the appeal of his fine.
“I’m still hoping to hear back,” Robinson said. “Like I said, I’m confident that it’s going to go my way.”
DUNTA ON DEFENDING THE DOME: “They have to come to our house. Whatever you think about them, the best team or the worst team, they have to come through here and beat us. We don’t think that’s going to happen. Somebody is going to walk out 6-2 and we think it’s going to be us.”
DUNTA ON FREEMAN’S FOURTH QUARTER COMEBACKS: “He’s done a great job. . .He’s won some very close football games. We just have to remain focused. We just have to go out there and do what we do. We can’t worry about his fourth quarter comebacks or what he’s done in the past three or four games. We just have to go out there and play our game.”