Does this mean Trotter now has to be out for the season? Mathis out for season with knee injury By STEVE WYCHE The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Published on: 09/15/05 Falcons' backup cornerback Kevin Mathis' season ended before he played a down. An MRI exam Wednesday night revealed the eight-year veteran suffered a career-threatening injury after landing awkwardly during Wednesday's practice. Mathis, 31, tore his anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments and damaged his posterior capsule and his hamstring in his left leg, coach Jim Mora said. Surgery will be scheduled soon and he will be placed on the injured reserve list. "You hate to lose a player like Kevin because he brings so much to the team on the field and in the locker room," Mora said. "We have to find a way to go on and not make excuses." The injury came three days after Mathis was ejected for scuffling with Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Jeremiah Trotter 35 minutes before the Falcons' season-opening 14-10, victory. "Kevin is the glue to hold us together," safety Keion Carpenter said. "His leadership man, the guy's been in the league, nine, 10 years, He's played on championship teams, played around some great players. We learn and take from him because he's been in every situation. He's in our prayers." Mathis, acquired by Atlanta in 2002, was unavailable for comment. Mathis was a key member of the nickel and dime pass-coverage packages, which will probably be needed Sunday when the Falcons play the Seattle Seahawks, who regularly use three- and four-receiver sets. Allen Rossum, who played in nickel sets against the Eagles, will be used in that role again, but Atlanta may activate recently acquired cornerback Leigh Torrence, a rookie free agent who attended Marist High. Safeties Ronnie Heard or Kevin McCadam could also be used in certain coverages. Mora said the Falcons have a list of free agents and the team could bring a few players in to workout, but signing a player now probably would not provide much help by Sunday. Mathis was a key fill-in last season, starting 12 games for DeAngelo Hall and Jason Webster when they sustained injuries. He returned both of his interceptions for touchdowns in victories over Carolina and Denver and totaled 67 tackles for the season. Eagles complain about McNabb hit The Eagles asked the NFL about a hit that Falcons defensive tackle Chad Lavalais put on quarterback Donovan McNabb in the first quarter, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Eagles say Lavalais lunged at McNabb and hit him with the top of his helmet at the same time defensive end Brady Smith tackled him on a pass attempt that was intercepted by Hall. McNabb's chest was bruised on the play. Signora would not say if Lavalais was facing disciplinary action, but he said parts of the game were being reviewed by director of football operations Gene Washington. Next opponent sees Falcons as improved Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck wasn't concerned about the ancillary issues surrounding the Falcons-Eagles game; he was too taken with the Falcons' level of play, he said. "This looks like a much better Falcons team than we saw eight months ago," said Hasselbeck, whose Seahawks defeated the Falcons 28-26 in the 2004 regular-season finale. "They look very impressive, and I'd have to say that they look like the favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl right now."