The Atlanta Falcons were down a player Sunday and it stems from an incident that occurred in March that will have lingering repercussions for the player in question.
Defense lineman Ra’Shede Hageman, has been charged with interfering with a call for emergency help, battery family violence and cruelty to children in the third degree. While there are no court dates and the case is pending, Hageman is currently out on a $7,500 bond.
Hageman was drafted by the Falcons in the second round of the 2014 Draft and has played in 32 games and has started in 11 of those.
The Falcons organization have handled the information about the case accordingly and the league is involved as well.
Per the Falcons’ Coach, Dan Quinn, “We are aware of the serious allegations….Under the player conduct policy, we’re not allowed to comment on any investigations forthright. We have been aware of those, but won’t further comment until the league comes to a final conclusion and all of the facts have been brought forth.”
Hageman was inactive in Sunday’s loss against the Bucs, however according to the organization this was not due to the March incident, instead the reason given was that they activated defensive tackle Courtney Upshaw as they had decided to use more nickle defense. Quinn commented on the decision,“We thought it was going to be a bigger nickel game. So we chose to have Courtney up instead. Not because of the allegations. This is a straight football decision. It’s a player conduct issue and it’s in the league’s hands. I’m not allowed to discuss it further.”
The Falcons have stated they have plans to move forward with Hageman on their current roster. Dan Quinn stated, “Each situation is different. For us, this one, we are certainly going to allow the appropriate channels to take place.”
The league has started taking a firmer stance when it comes to players involved in domestic violence cases. The Falcons have had issues in the past, i.e. the Vick dog fighting case, so they tried to keep their nose clean and steer clear of any issues on or off field that could pull focus off of actual team performance.