On a Monday afternoon only 24 hours removed from John Abraham’s latest ankle tweaking and two days before practice begins this week, anything anyone associated with the Falcons says about his playing status for the NFC Championship game means so very little.

But here’s Mike Smith’s opening spin:

“We anticipate John will be back out practicing with us before the end of the week.”

Bolding words generally denotes importance, unless the writer is willingly trying to mess with society’s standards and principles. While I do that often, it’s not the intention here.

The last part of Smith’s opening coach-speak regarding an ankle that will be monitored thoroughly all week is key, as he makes no estimate right now as to when Abraham will surface in practice, or what his level of participation will be. Therefore, although he seems confident that his top defensive end will play against the 49ers, Smith can’t yet say how effective Abraham will be, and if he’ll regain his signature acceleration and burst.

Right now after he was only able to play in 15 snaps yesterday, there’s little reason to expect Abraham to be fully healthy a week later. He’ll likely play, but he’ll be a shell of himself.

Hey Mike, that momentum you gained by playing all your starters in a meaningless Week 17 game is feeling pretty good right about now, huh? Ahhh momentum. It’s still a myth, and teams that play well in playoff games generally win playoff games, and what happened in the regular season is quickly forgotten.