Atlanta Falcons center Alex Mack is unlikely to practice this week ahead of the Super Bowl LI showdown with the New England Patriots after sustaining a sprained ankle in the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers.
The Falcons' decision to rest Mack during the bye week was reported by NFL Network. He is still expected to be on the field when the Falcons and Patriots battle for the Lombardi Trophy on Feb. 5 at NRG Stadium in Houston.
After sustaining the injury in Atlanta's 44-21 rout of Green Bay, Mack returned to the game although the injury was not fully healed. Mack's ankle is described as "swollen" and "painful" in an NFL.com report.
Mack was part of a Falcons' offensive line that avoided the injury bug leading up to the playoffs. Atlanta was the only team in the NFL to have its entire five-man starting O-line unit start all 16 regular-season games.
The 31-year-old and four-time Pro Bowler was the 21st-overall pick of the Cleveland Browns in the 2009 NFL Draft. Mack, a two-time second-team All-Pro, signed a five-year contract with the Falcons this past offseason.