Perhaps coach Mike Smith just didn’t want to jump the gun Monday. But we don’t know why he’s gone all Bill Belichick on the media over injuries.
It was already out that Jerious Norwood had a torn ACL. He was seen in the locker room on crutches. He sent an e-mail to an associate
stating that his ACL was torn, but that he was in good spirits. His family was already apprised of his status.
Smith said the team was still evaluating things and if there was a season-ending knee injury that an announcement would be made.
They made it today and announced some other moves.
Norwood suffered a torn ACL in his right knee on the opening kickoff of the 41-7 pasting of the Cardinals. He tripped on Shann Schillinger’s foot and his right knee slammed into the Georgia Dome turf.
The players already knew that Norwood was done for the season on Monday.
“We are a run-first offense,” wide receiver Roddy White said. “We are just looking forward to next week. Mike (Turner) will be able to play. (Jason) Snelling will be backing him up and we’ll keep rolling.”
The Falcons also announced the addition of running back Gartrell Johnson to the active roster and terminated the contract of linebacker Bear Woods, who was on the practice squad. They signed running back Shawnbrey McNeal to replace Woods.
Johnson was a fourth-round draft pick of the Chargers in 2009. He had 43 yards on 13 carries for the Giants last season.
McNeal was signed by San Diego as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Southern Methodist. He was waived following training camp.
He rushed for 1,188 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior and was honorable mention all-Conference USA.
Norwood has been injury plagued over his career with the Falcons.
“Unfortunately, since we’ve been here Jerious has had some bumps and bruises and some missed time,” Smith said. “But he is a very talented football player and he’s been a guy that’s contributed to the success that we’ve had.”
When asked about the ACL tear on Monday, Smith said, “I don’t know where that report is coming from. We’ve had testing done and evaluation done this morning. We are going to continue to evaluate it. If it is indeed the case. Then we would announce that. But again,
that will come on Wednesday when we give our injury report.” (Umm, it came from an e-mail Jerious sent.)
The coaching staff thought Norwood could help them on third down. Norwood, who had four accrued years in the league, was a restricted free agent and received a second round tender last season. He was set to receive a salary of $1.759 million or 110 percent of his 2009 salary, whichever is greater.
“There is always a sense of frustration anytime that you don’t have your best players out there on the field,” Smith said. “That’s not necessarily directed toward Jerious or anyone else. Any time you don’t have your best players out there who give you the best chance to win, it is frustrating.”