By Chris Vivlamore
FLOWERY BRANCH – Brent Grimes, who underwent knee surgery last week, has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Panthers. It will be the second straight game without the Pro Bowl cornerback.
The Falcons will again rely on Dominique Franks and Christopher Owens to fill in for Grimes as they face Panthers. Wide receiver Steve Smith leads the NFL in catches 20 yards or more (23) and is tied for second in receiving yards (1,092).
The Falcons held seven players out of practice Wednesday. Offensive tackle Will Svitek (groin) and running back Michael Turner (groin) did not participate. Defensive back Kelvin Hayden (toe) and linebacker Stephen Nicholas (thigh) worked with trainers. John Abraham, Tony Gonzalez and Todd McClure were rested.
Offensive lineman Sam Baker (back), wide receiver Harry Douglas (groin), defensive end Ray Edwards (shoulder), offensive guard Joe Hawley (ankle) and wide receivers Julio Jones (hamstring) and Roddy White (shoulder) were limited.