Falcons reach injury settlement with Peelle

Falcons tight end Justin Peelle (87) crosses the goal line in front of St. Louis Rams safety Craig Dahl (43) to score a touchdown during the third quarter. AP

Falcons tight end Justin Peelle (87) in action against the St. Louis Rams. AP

UPDATE 8:20 a.m.

The Falcons have reached an injury settlement with Justin Peelle, the team confirmed. An announcement will be made later today.

Earlier post:

JACKSONVILLE – The Falcons are expected to announce that they have reached an injury settlement with tight end Justin Peelle.

He suffered a knee injury in the exhibition season opener against Miami.

“Peelle has been a big part of our offense since we’ve gotten here,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “We have a lot of things that are based on tight end play. We try to have at least three tight ends on our roster.”

The Falcons signed Reggie Kelly on Tuesday to takeover Peelle role as the No. 2 tight end behind Tony Gonzalez.

Michael Palmer, Marquez Branson, Ryan Winterswyk and A.J. Simmons are the other tight ends on the roster.

Peelle, 32, was signed by the Falcons on August 31, 2008 and played a few days later in the season opener against Detroit.

Last season, he played in 13 games and caught 10 passes for 96 yards and one touchdown.

In 2009, he played in 15 games and caught 12 passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns.

In 2008, he played in 16 games and caught 15 passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns.

“Justin has been a guy that has made a lot of plays for us over the last few years,” Smith said. “It’s unfortunate for us right now that he’s not going to be able to participate.”

Palmer was the team’s No. 3 tight end last season.

“Peelle does a lot of things in this offense that a lot of people don’t realize,” Palmer said. “Being able to learn from him has been great. He’s kind of the unsung hero of the tight end group.”

After Peelle recovers, he could be re-signed after Week 10.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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18 comments Add your comment

Iron head

August 19th, 2011
3:14 am

Mora less Petrino

August 19th, 2011
3:56 am

Next to last!

gem

August 19th, 2011
5:25 am

what exactly is his injury?

Falcons4Eva

August 19th, 2011
5:49 am

The very fact that Reggie Kelly can step right in an automatically assume the role of the 2nd tight end tells me that the other tight end on the roster as average journeymen at best…

What does that say for the team next year when Tony Gonzalez retires, or God forbid, it Tony gets injured this year? Can’t really count on NONE of those other tight ends to be any offensive threat.

HJones

August 19th, 2011
6:29 am

What does it really say for our offense? I am afraid we will use the same offensive philosophy as previous years.

DOL? In other words, Peelle will be released?

waynester

August 19th, 2011
8:00 am

We can’t hold a roster spot open for Peele so signing a vet TE makes great sense. Palmer is really coming along and should be an offensive threat, not just a blocker. Peele’s absence will be felt but it shouldn’t be a total disaster unless someone else goes down….

Dee

August 19th, 2011
8:17 am

So 3 TE on the roster…I’d say it’ll be Gonzalez (of course), Kelly @ #2 and Palmer @ 3.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 19th, 2011
8:21 am

gem — knee (is all team has reported). I have a call into his agent to get more information. Team doesnt’ like to released very detailed injury information (like the good ol’ days when you could just walk in the trainer’s room and actually talk to the team’s medical personnel.)

Falcons4Eva — Relax a bit. Palmer is developing and will be a player. The Winterswyk kid has some promise, too.

HJones — Yes, sort of. Injury settlement will allow Falcons the option of re-signing him when he recovers after Week 10. Yes, the offense will remain SMASHMOUTH first to open up the passing game.

Waynester — Very strong explaination. You’re always on point.

Don't feed Aints trolls (It isn't 2009 anymore)

August 19th, 2011
9:14 am

I like Peele, but honestly, Kelly can step right in and do the same job. Peele is 32, Kelly is 34. Not a big difference. Peele caught 10 passes last year, Kelly caught 10 passes last year (although for less yards). However, Kelly caught 30 passes in 2008 (didn’t play 2009) and averages 20 catches for over 200 yards over the last 5 years. As much as people make fun of his catching ability, he has been more productive in the pass game than Peele. Both guys are known for being good blockers and smart football players. It is pretty much a wash. The Falcons signed almost a clone of the guy they lost. I don’t know why some of you are making such a big deal out of this. It would have been dumb for the Falcons to spend big money on a TE when you have a very productive Tony Gonzales already on the roster.

ToccoaBird

August 19th, 2011
9:14 am

Read between the lines. Smitty has basically said Justin is a member of his team and will be welcomed back when he gets better. That my Falcon friends is why this team will be successful for years to come. Hurry and get better Justin even if we don’t see you until next year.

joe white

August 19th, 2011
9:27 am

Well palmer is young and not a good blocker yet, so we can see now that palmer is the furture so he can learn how to block from kelly and catch and run routes from tg.

Ken Strickland

August 19th, 2011
10:09 am

Man, some of you just can’t help crying doom and gloom whenever the Falcons make a move. TE RKelly was made the #2 TE because he needs to get as many reps as possible to be brought up to speed before the season starts. Palmer is the heir apparent to TGonzalez’ starting TE spot, and doesn’t need as many reps, since he already knows the system.

Remember, the preseason depth chart will be different than the regular season depth chart. So far, we don’t even know who our starting RG or NCB is going to be. Therefore, we can’t determine who will be our #1 or #2 NCB or RG. Please, stop overreacting to and seeing everything from a doom and gloom perspective.

One of the other reasons TD and Smitty went all out to draft WR JJones, besides being a compliment to WR RWhite, was to replace the loss of receptions and impact when TE TGonzalez retires. I seriously doubt if any of our young TE’s will every replace his OFF production. However, at the very least Palmer will provide more than adequate OFF production and drastically improve our inline blocking at the position.

That would provide an improvement to our rushing OFF. After reviewing some of the highlights from the Jacksonville scrimmage and the Miami gm, I noticed we’re utilizing the DRAG pass route with our WR’s, which hasn’t been used much, if at all, in the past. We’ve used that route primarily with our TE’s.

When you have a WR like JJones, who’s bigger, taller, and as fast and athletic as most CB’s, he doesn’t have to be open to complete a pass. The QB only has to put it where he can go up and get it. That’s why I’m not concerned about Philly’s DB’s. Bringing in CB’s Asoumgha and Cromarte has weakened their DEF on the edge, because neither has a history of providing much run support.

Both CB’s were their former teams DEF stopper in the secondary, which means neither had to deal with being targeted consistently. Playing together means at least one of them will have to show what he can do, because he’s going to get the BGrimes treatment.

Don't feed Aints trolls (It isn't 2009 anymore)

August 19th, 2011
10:22 am

Good post Ken

Bird Backer

August 19th, 2011
10:26 am

It’s real simple. They have Kelly at number 2 TE because the number 2 TE is the blocking tight end in this offense. Blocking is Kelly’s specialty. Palmer is a receiving tight end and backs up Gonzo when he needs it and the Falcons still want a receiving threat on the field at TE.

Greg Mendel

August 19th, 2011
10:48 am

The Blog Monster seems to keep eating my posts — not that they’re worth reading.

Drizzy Swagghard

August 19th, 2011
11:42 am

Hey, don’t get to upset. Our #2 TE has typically been used as a blocker & safety valve. Reggie Kelly is more than capable of fulfulling that role. Micheal Palmer, from what I’ve been reading, is a viable back up to Gonzalez. TG can never be replace, as far as production, but Palmer seems to be ready to step up & be an offensive weapon when he decides to hang it up.

Dr. Roctopus

August 19th, 2011
11:48 am

Anyone know the distinction between having an injury settlement versus putting a player on the PUP list to start the season? Does it not count against the cap or something? Every injury settlement I’ve ever heard of was more of a thanks-for-the-memories kind of a deal.. Falcons should just figure out which of the backup OL guys have the best hands and slap #87 on him.

Ken Strickland

August 19th, 2011
3:38 pm

DON’T FEED THE AINT TROLS-Thanks for the compliment. I also want to apologize for not complimenting you for consistently offers such positive and insightful posts.