FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons tight end Michael Palmer, moved by the story of the Locust Grove High School football team, will host them for the exhibition game against the Baltimore Ravens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Georgia Dome.
After learning of the passing of Locust Groves football player, Forest Jones, Palmer sent them a video message inviting them to the game and offered some words of encouragement.
Palmer, who played at Parkview and Clemson, is from Stone Mountain. The team will have a dinner and receive tickets to the game.
“I know these young guys have been going through a tremendously difficult time over the past few weeks,” Palmer said in a statement. “I have never lost a teammate before, but I have dealt with the loss of someone I was very close with.
“I know how difficult it is and I thought by giving this team an opportunity to come to one of our games it may help them have some fun and bond as a team. I’m sure there are a bunch of kids on the team who have never been to the Georgia Dome before or to an NFL game. I feel that I’m in a position to give back as a professional athlete. I’m glad that I can jump in and make a difference.”
Palmer also reached out to the Fitzgerald High School football team in Ben Hill County , Georgia who also suffered the loss of teammate D.J. Searcy to provide the same opportunity. Due to a scheduling conflict, Fitzgerald High is unable to attend, but did receive a special video message from Palmer.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog