The Atlanta Falcons' running game has been awful through two games this year, and a big reason for that is the general ineffectiveness of Michael Turner. Back when he first arrived in Atlanta, Turner took a lot of the load off Matt Ryan’s shoulders and allowed him to develop into a legitimate, impressive quarterback – there is no denying that.
Unfortunately, over the past year, Turner’s productivity has fallen off a cliff, culminating in what can only be described as complete and total uselessness this season.
On Monday night, in a 27-21 Falcons victory over the Denver Broncos, Turner racked up 42 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries. Don’t get too excited about the score, though, it came on a one-yard run. The 2.5 yards per carry that Turner accumulated for the outing was far more telling a number than any other sitting next to his name in the box score.
Because of what an albatross around the offense’s neck the running game has been so far, you would think that everyone who contributes to the problem would stay out of trouble. You would think that they would lay low, not make waves, and appreciate the fact that Ryan and his ridiculously impressive receiving group are carrying the load.
You would think wrong.
Early Tuesday morning, just hours after the Broncos win, Turner was busted for driving drunk. As reported by TMZ:
Turner -- who rushed for 42 yards and a TD in the MNF victory -- was initially pulled over in his black Audi R8 around 4:06 AM for speeding ... 97 in a 65.
During the stop, officers detected the presence of alcohol and arrested the 30-year-old NFL star for driving under the influence.
Law enforcement tells TMZ ... Turner refused to submit to a breathalyzer test.
Turner -- who's in the 5th year of a 6-year, $34 million contract -- was hauled to Gwinnett County Jail ... but was released two hours later on $2,179 bond.
The Falcons released this statement shortly after news of the arrest broke:
"We are aware of the situation involving Michael and are in the process of gathering more information. Because this is now a legal matter, the club will have no further comment at this time.”
The best reaction to this mess came from ESPN’s Darren Rovell:
Michael Turner, who made $294,118 for last night's game, apparently couldn't afford a cab home.
— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) September 18, 2012