Atlanta Falcons: Grimes out for season (updated)

Vivlamore reporting from Flowery Branch.

Brent Grimes’ season is over.

The Falcons starting cornerback was placed on the injured reserve list with an Achilles tendon injury suffered in Sunday’s season-opening victory over the Chiefs. Grimes, who had the franchise tag placed on him in March, had an MRI Monday which revealed surgery was necessary.

According to coach Mike Smith, the recovery period following the surgical procedure will extend beyond the season.

“Obviously, it hurts our depth any time you lose a player of that caliber,” Smith said. “Brent’s made a number of plays. Since we’ve been here, he’s been a cornerstone at the position, both left and right [cornerback].

“It’s the next man up mentality. That’s the way you have to approach it. There are a number of guys who have play time on our roster right now. It’s something that as a coaching staff we’ll put together what we feel is the best plan in terms of how we will configure out nickel package. That’s the biggest thing we’ll have to do.”

Grimes, a Pro Bowler in 2010, started Sunday’s game at right cornerback. Asante Samuel, a four-time Pro Bowler acquired in the offseason, started at left cornerback. Dunta Robinson played in the nickel package, which Smith said was all but 11 plays against the Chiefs.

Grimes left the game in the fourth quarter Sunday with what was announced as a calf injury. He did not return.

The Falcons do not get any salary-cap relief for the loss of Grimes. They have approximately $1.061 million in salary-cap space should they choose to sign another player.

Samuel and Robinson will now start at cornerback with Christopher Owens likely assuming the nickel role. The Falcons also have Dominique Franks and Robert McClain on the active roster and Peyton Thompson on the practice squad at cornerback.

“How we configure this is something we’ll discuss over the next several days,” Smith said of the rotation. “We’ve got lots of flexibility in terms of our secondary. Injuries are a part of this game unfortunately. We felt like we were adding a corner [in Samuel] that gave us three No. 1 corners. We’ve had an injury and we’ll have to adjust. We will adjust.”

The Falcons kept Grimes for another season when they placed the franchise tag on him in March. He will earn $10.281 million this year on a one-year contract. He is entering his fifth season with the Falcons after making the team as an undrafted free agent out of Shippensburg University. Grime made the Pro Bowl following the 2010 season.

It is the second surgery that will cause Grimes to miss games in the past two seasons. He said before the start of the season that he was fully recovered from the right knee surgery he needed in November that caused him to miss three of the last four regular-season games and the playoff loss to the Giants.

Grimes finished with one interception, 35 tackles and 12 assists in 12 games last season. He played in all 16 regular-season games in both 2009 and 2010 and had a combined 11 interceptions, including five in 2010 when went to the Pro Bowl as an alternate.

“I was able to do a lot of things that I like to do which is move in space, run, hit, tackle, blitz,” Robinson said of his now-temporary move inside.

The Falcons now have five players on injured reserve in offensive lineman Will Svitek, safety Shann Schillinger, rookie fullback Bradie Ewing, rookie tight end Adam Nissley and Grimes.

- Chris Vivlamore

214 comments Add your comment

Falcon Fan

September 10th, 2012
3:37 pm

I hope is career is over the damn money mongul. Your gonna hold out when your making 10 million dollars. Good Riddance!!!

SirReal

September 10th, 2012
3:37 pm

Also for all the “curse” crap…ALL teams have injuries genuises….

Frankie

September 10th, 2012
3:37 pm

this is why you sign for guaranteed money….this will probably be his last season with falcons….or place him in nicle back roll not every down roll.

Cal

September 10th, 2012
3:39 pm

First …stop saying next man up; if the next man was that good they would not have signed Samuels. Second, Robinson needs to stay in the slot where he’s at his best, on the outside he’s constantly torched. Third, they wasted 10 million of guaranteed money on Grimes by not signing him to a deal, Now you still have to pay that money and even worse it still counts against the salary cap. (No cap space to sign another CB)
Bottom line we are right back to where we started horrible secondary with a half azz pass rush. This team has to be cursed.

OPEN YOUR EYES

September 10th, 2012
3:39 pm

@BUBBA BEAN- ME AND MY BROTHER JUST READ WHAT YOU JUST TYPED ABOUT “JAMMING” AND “JUMPING ROUTES”!! YOU MAKE IT SEEM LIKE ITS AN EASY THING TO DO, BUT SADLY ITS NOT!!! IM GUESSING YOU DIDNT WATCH THE GAME THEY HAD WITH PITTSBURGH, CAUSE THEY WERE “JAMMING AND JUMPER THE RECEIVER’S ROUTS” BUT TO NO AVAIL!!!!

PEYTON MANNING WILL DESTROY OUR SECONDARY, HE IS THE BEST REGULAR SEASON QUARTERBACK IN HISTORY AND HE WILL THROW ALL OF HIS AUDIBLES AT FRANKS/DUNTA’S SIDE OF THE FIELD AND BEGIN TO TORCH OUR BACKLINE!!!!!

GET READY GUYS I SMELL A BLOWOUT COMING ON MONDAY!!!!

Cejay

September 10th, 2012
3:40 pm

Crused????? hahahahahaha somebody believes in voodoo…..I wonder who that is LOL !

chucktownfalcon

September 10th, 2012
3:43 pm

Is Lito Sheppard a free agent?

Dr. Warren

September 10th, 2012
3:44 pm

They might be doomed against Manning this week, but eventually, Nolan will make adjustments and somebody will man-up. Expect a lot of 42-38 games this year, fellas. Hopefully, we win more of them than we lose.

Robin

September 10th, 2012
3:47 pm

I hate to see a guy go down for the season obviously. But losing Grimes is not the end of the world. Guy gets picked on every game. Yesterday he got picked on for a first down and a TD right after. He is just too small. Anyway, all teams get injuries. It’s the good ones who respond.

OPEN YOUR EYES

September 10th, 2012
3:47 pm

@CEJAY- I DON’T KNOW WHO YOU ARE LAUGHING AT, BUT YOU BETTER GET READY FOR THE BIGGEST BLOWOUT MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL HAS EVER SEEN!!!! DON’T WORRY ONCE PEYTON IS DONE DECIMATING YOU GUY’S SECONDARY I’LL BE THE ONE LAUGHING!!!

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! EVERYBODY IN FAILCAN’TS NATION BETTER START SAYING THERE PRAYERS CAUSE THINGS ARE BOUT TO GET REAL NASTY!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!! ROFL!!!

keeping it real

September 10th, 2012
3:47 pm

Was 2nd best corner in the NFL last year according to Pro Football Focus.

Not an Owens fan, but hope he doesn’t get suspended because of the special teams altercation in KC.

Frankie

September 10th, 2012
3:48 pm

he played the game just like the owners played the game….
He knew what his condtion was just like when peyton manning signed for all that money…this is a business and he made the better deal than the falcons. the falcons had the chance to lower the guaranteed money for longer stint but hey you get what you pay for…
time to restructure some contracts to get another DB in the house….

Cal

September 10th, 2012
3:49 pm

EWe know Owen has been beat like he stole something every time he’s manned the slot, so why even put him there. Damn if they only had some cap room and could make a trade for a decent CB. This year ATL plays too many pass happy Offenses to have a half azz secondary. I’m not being a damper but a realist; I thought Monday night was going to be the falcons coming out party, now we know it’ll be the Green Bay game again.nter your comments here

Cejay

September 10th, 2012
3:50 pm

@Open your eyes

Dude……do you know where caps button is ????

Ken

September 10th, 2012
3:51 pm

Time for the next man up!! To RISE UP!!

Tim mcKyer

September 10th, 2012
3:52 pm

I can still play……….

ParanoidAndroid

September 10th, 2012
3:52 pm

Not the end of the world. Look at the big picture.
Look at the corner situation the past couple years. We won quite a few games over that span even with the shaky defense. Take Grimes out and replace him with Asante. Replace BVG with Mike Nolan. That alone puts us in a better position than where we were a year ago.

Nique

September 10th, 2012
3:52 pm

WOW, We don’t need to resign him, he should be done as a Falcon. 2 Years in a row he’s gotten paid BIG BUCKS TO RIDE THE PINE! The guy can’t stay healthy & this is my worst nightmare Chris Owens “having earned” the # 4 cb position is going to get picked on like Jared Bush did in the Packers game against the 49ers!!! I hope we can fight through this & Nolan’s scheme will really be tested now, time 4 everyone else to step up! Really glad we got 22 now!!!

Die Hard Falcon

September 10th, 2012
3:56 pm

I believe that once a guy is on IR he doesn’t count against the salary cap for that year. He will still get the money paid out to him, but he doesn’t count against the teams cap
Can anyone confirm this?

Go Falcons!!!

Nowwehaveasecondary!

September 10th, 2012
3:57 pm

The loss of Bren Grimes is not a good thing, but it is also not the end of the team. Our DC will have to adjust. Our pass rush should be better against Denver because the Denver linemen will not hear the snap count. They will be watching for the snap just like our defensive linemen.

I think the offense will improve. The Saints won a SB with a pathetic defense. The Packers did the same. I think our defense will be at least as good as it ranked last year, and it finished as the 12th best. If we can stop teams from moving the chains on third down better than last year and get the Ryan Express going full speed we will be okay.

Nowwehaveasecondary!

September 10th, 2012
3:58 pm

Die Hard Fan – Any player placed upon IR receives his salary for the year and it counts against the salary cap as if he was still on the active roster.

Just Sayin.....

September 10th, 2012
4:01 pm

Here comes Peyton……

Just sayin…..

Nique

September 10th, 2012
4:04 pm

Sorry for Brent, but even sorrier for the Birds. They invested a lot in this back end just for one game! Injuries are unavoidable, but at 2 years in a row, at that price tag, you just can’t have that! Hope Owens really is better & has truly shown something in practice that we haven’t seen on the field yet! If not I hope Franks can earn his way back into the good graces of the franchise & find his but on the field. Really would have loved to be able to go grab a Kelvin Hayden again this year, he looked good in week 1 for the Bears.

Brandon

September 10th, 2012
4:05 pm

For all the people saying Owens will step up, well your idiots he is probably the worst cover corner in the NFL the Falcons are in serious trouble. They will not be able to stop the high powered offenses at all now watch and see what Payton is about to do.

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mark

September 10th, 2012
4:07 pm

I feel for Grimes great player that plays with a lot of heart. Shuffle time, although unlike in years past b/c we did picked up Samuel in the off season we are not in terrible shape plus Owens plays a very physical game so he should be up to the task. Keep Dunta out of the corner not a good cover guy period, that was a BAD signing by Dimitroff. I think Nolan is big in this situation b/c unlike VG last year, Nolan has the ability to fit the def to match personnel, also Off is going to take off so should be able to out gun or stay in most games.

chc4

September 10th, 2012
4:11 pm

Why would we be doomed this week vs Denver? Did anyone see our offense? The Broncos are no great shakes. We’ll still win this game.

Darrell

September 10th, 2012
4:12 pm

Well if GB can go 15-1 and NE goes to the Super Bowl with bad pass D’s maybe Atlanta can too.

rfall

September 10th, 2012
4:13 pm

defense is in trouble. better look outside the organization for some help!

Cal

September 10th, 2012
4:13 pm

Brent Grimes money is guaranteed for this year so it counts, that’s the risk you take when you franchise a player. Needless to say it’s no need to bring him back next year anyway, because they didn’t sign a deal yet so his Falcon days are over.
Sad thing is we don’t have anyone worth putting on the outside with Samuels and I just looked at the free agents left and there’s nothing. Just when I was getting excited about this year, it’s so funny the way things happen. I was just getting ready to buy my ticket for an October game. I don’t think so now, just don’t like the way the team procrastinate. Turner should’ve been gone for cap space and we would’ve been able to try and make a trade for a high caliber CB.

chc4

September 10th, 2012
4:17 pm

Cal — you won’t buy tickets b/c of Grimes injury? What sense does that make? This team procrasinates?…. what nonsense is that? They had 3 good CBs and 1 gets hurt. Dimitroff isn’t a sorceror that can just magically acquire top flight players midseason.

We DID trade for a top flight CB. And then one gets hurt. Your logic is bizarre.

robertussen

September 10th, 2012
4:18 pm

oh good, we lose our best defensive player for the year. even if we do sign some one else (doubt we will, also is there really anyone out there we can get) it would take then time to get adjusted to our scheme. this is a huge blow. i hope we can recover quickly.

John

September 10th, 2012
4:23 pm

I knew it as soon as I saw him go down. Ugh.

Ricnic

September 10th, 2012
4:28 pm

Who’s the back up QB in Denver? There going to need him, Our D-ends will plant Manning and he will be out by the first quarter.

Falconsfaninaugusta

September 10th, 2012
4:31 pm

Tough loss so early…. Saw the play and obvious something snapped…. Dunta needs to man up now

OpenyourEyes=Seen

September 10th, 2012
4:32 pm

Wow Seen you cant troll under your real name? To embrassed about that rookie taking your Aints to the back of the shed and opening up a can on that defense? Did I mention he was a rookie. I think I did.

Kurtis

September 10th, 2012
4:33 pm

Oh my goodness. The last time I saw Christopher Owens start a game, I was at the Dome and personally witnessed Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay receivers deflower him and hang nearly 50 points on us. Man, I hope there’s a Plan B.

Big Crimson 75

September 10th, 2012
4:39 pm

This is part of the Sport. Every Team deals with losing a starter for the Season at some point.
It’s tough for Grimes, it’s tough for the Falcons who franchised him.
CB is one of the deeper positions on the roster.
Owens & Franks are about to have make/break seasons.

techduck

September 10th, 2012
4:39 pm

How can you say thats a big blow of grimes getting hurt this past sunday and out for the season?I see this a blessing (not him getting hurt though)but for this team.Grimes has the biggest heart in the national football.His desire to be the best player out there on the playing feild today is top notch.But he has no size of being a corner back.(5ft 11 in)theres no way he can be able to play this position and be sucessful.He is to (Short) plain and simple.You will see what i mean from this point on.The falcons we be a lot better on passing defense for the rest of the year.

BravesFan79

September 10th, 2012
4:42 pm

My favorite player on defense… damn. Guess we wont see him in a Falcons uniform again as mgnment will likely see him as 2 big of a risk to give a big contract to.

chuck

September 10th, 2012
4:43 pm

The is really bad news because we really don’t have a top draft choice that isn’t needed to be used elsewhere to fill major holes in the lineup. We now need a TE, LT, DE, and a CB and we don’t have 4 first round picks. At least we still have our full set of picks.

Big Crimson 75

September 10th, 2012
4:44 pm

If Dunta steps up and earns his money, the Falcons can deal with the loss of Grimes.

And that is why Grimes wanted...

September 10th, 2012
4:46 pm

…a long term deal, with a huge bonus UP FRONT, and why the birds did not want that deal and opted for the franchise tag…life in the big leagues, but I guess Brent will be OK with 10mil for not playing this year, or probably ever again…

Barton

September 10th, 2012
4:51 pm

This is a non-issue. We will have to outscore teams this year regardless. We’re looking at a Super Bowl path much like the Packers two years back.

NATIVEBIRD

September 10th, 2012
4:52 pm

Robert McClain played well during the preseason. We know what we have in Chris Owens. Not much. Nolan and staff should just look at “Burnt Toast”(that’s what we call Chris Owens in my house) in the games past. I was soooo upset to see him in there Sunday when Brent went down! Owens might cover for one play, but he will have a mental lapse and get burned eventually.

LET’S NOT GIVE OWENS THE CHANCE TO SCREW OUR SEASON UP AGAIN! PLEASE NOLAN, SMITTY, SOMEBODY BE A COACH WITH EYES.

Please play McClain or pick up someone. PLEASE DON’T PUT BURNT TOAST BACK OUT THERE! PLEASE.

Dunta 'getting torched' Robinson

September 10th, 2012
4:53 pm

Dunta Robinson was torched so often I thought his braids were gonna burn. Epic fail.

Barton

September 10th, 2012
4:54 pm

Also.. Techduck – Dunta Robinson cannot cover like Grimes and any loss at cornerback for this team is a major blow. The reason you see Dunta making so many tackles is because he gets worked on routes.

Sorry for not reading through the comments before posting.

Captain Obvious

September 10th, 2012
4:55 pm

@chuck
We now need a TE, LT, DE, and a CB and we don’t have 4 first round picks

ROTFLMAO. Consulting these days?

FIRE FREDI

September 10th, 2012
4:55 pm

Why do so many starters play in blowouts? Are the back-ups not good enough to hold a 3+ td lead with 10 minutes left?

thouhtful

September 10th, 2012
4:56 pm

I hope pulls a MIRACLE out of the hat by scanning the wire and FA LIST that is where you find the type of guy who can help you win the SUPER BOWL!