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

Captain Obvious

September 10th, 2012
4:57 pm

To the lamebrains who are not paid for their football knowledge. Green Bay went 15-1 with the worst pass defense in the league. That is all for now. Time for you to report to work at Burger King.

Bubba Bean

September 10th, 2012
4:59 pm

Open your eyes… Until you learn to stop shouting with ALL CAPS, you credibility (and your brother’s) are zilch.

Left Coast Dawg

September 10th, 2012
5:05 pm

While I have given the SMURF some grief during his tenure with the Falcons, I’m sorry to see this happen to him and hate that’s the only way we could get rid of him. But with that being said, it’s time for the next CB to step up and make a name for himself. I still say Grimes wasn’t the long-term solution so maybe this is a blessing in disguise for the organization.

Mike Franklin

September 10th, 2012
5:08 pm

The season certainly does not rest on any one player but… speaking of depleted Ds…

Grimes was a key to the D. Unless he is replaced with talent approaching his ability, every team we play (including Denver and Peyton Elway) will be bombing us to pissereens.

S**t.

Did they try duct taping the injury???

robertussen

September 10th, 2012
5:20 pm

i’ve been looking around trying to see if any decent cbs are left out there. i found one. he helped us out a few years ago……… foxworth anyone?

Go Jackets

September 10th, 2012
5:21 pm

Brent was gettin smoked in first half anyway by the bigger more powerful receivers. Hes too small and it took the force of natural selection to make the Falcons realise hes too small. Sorry to see, but glad it happened.

Sad Sack

September 10th, 2012
5:23 pm

I’ve never been a Grimes fan, so I don’t look at this as a loss, but a chance to upgrade. Maybe they can find someone who is taller than 5′ 8″…

Surg

September 10th, 2012
5:25 pm

I hope to God the injury bug doesn’t beat our team out the playoffs before we even get there…

Not the end

September 10th, 2012
5:35 pm

Not good. But actually Owens played well on the outside last year. He just couldn’t play the slot.

We should be fine.

follow @yoursporthouse

September 10th, 2012
5:35 pm

Discuss this in my blog on yoursporthouse.com. Grimes is actually good in space, but at the goal line, he’s 2 small. My problem is Owens, is not that much better. Plus, can someone please make him take that number #21 jersey off. It’s a disgrace to Deion Sanders.

Vesaversa

September 10th, 2012
5:36 pm

Dam i hate that about Crime . Franks will have to step up now .But it seam like every time we get the missing pieces together something always happen .

Eddie

September 10th, 2012
5:43 pm

Sorry to hear about Brent Grimes, talent and heart!! Be blessed on your recovery, and hope its fast and productive.

Come on Falcons coaches and management, we need some help.

Joe Don Baker

September 10th, 2012
5:44 pm

More ‘oomph’ is needed from the D-Line now for sure. Too bad we have Ray Edwards and Abraham on the ends. An over-rated never-was, and an over the hill has-been aren’t going to stir things up. Hope Mike Nolan is a creative genius in the blitz department.

Dan

September 10th, 2012
5:45 pm

That stinks but will see then if he is really worth it? I mean if the others step up and do just great then I wouldnt mind spending some of that Grimes money on LT Jake Long next year

Falcon James

September 10th, 2012
5:46 pm

This is bad news. Dunta showed that he still stinks. Asante did not show us much more than that. We already know that Owens and Franks and lifetime backups.

I wish Grimes a speedy recovery.

tidog

September 10th, 2012
5:50 pm

Dial up more pressure front seven. You make the QB hurry his reads and throws I’ll suit up.

Getaway

September 10th, 2012
6:00 pm

Sorry to hear about Grimes, I was afraid it was his achilles when I saw him walking off.

I hope he recovers and plays again, whether in ATL or where ever his path takes him. His emergence a couple of years ago has been one of the many highlights of this current regime.

I’m not panicking over this setback, though. At least Owens isn’t being thrown to the wolves without any preparation this time. He’s grown a lot over the past year or so and has demonstrated considerable physical tools. And as yesterday proved, he’s playing with a chip on his shoulder. Maybe he’s ready to step up…

Erg

September 10th, 2012
6:10 pm

Enter your comments here

Dbl d

September 10th, 2012
6:11 pm

Where is the Saint fan, lmao

78dawg

September 10th, 2012
6:23 pm

If we don’t get pressure up front on the D-line now …we’re toast..just like that the Falcons secondary will be exposed….

The Real Rick

September 10th, 2012
6:28 pm

This is no longer a league where shut down corners truly exist …..the rules have changed to favor the receivers……I love grimes and hate to see him go down…..but even before his injury..the falcons needed more emphasis on the defensive line than in the secondary……how many times did we see the QB having all day long to throw the ball last year? A lot…..the emphasis this year w Nolan will continue to be to get in the backield. We saw the adjustments the defense against the chiefs….and it worked……if the line continues to play at that level…we will be fine…..rise up

OPEN YOUR EYES

September 10th, 2012
6:30 pm

WHAT DO FAILCANT’S DO???……………………………RISE DOWN!!!!
WHAT DO FAILCANT’S DO???……………………………RISE DOWN!!!!
WHAT DO FAILCANT’S DO???……………………………RISE DOWN!!!!
WHAT DO FAILCANT’S DO???……………………………RISE DOWN!!!!
WHAT DO FAILCANT’S DO???……………………………RISE DOWN!!!!
WHAT DO FAILCANT’S DO???……………………………RISE DOWN!!!!
WHAT DO FAILCANT’S DO???……………………………RISE DOWN!!!!
WHAT DO FAILCANT’S DO???……………………………RISE DOWN!!!!
WHAT DO FAILCANT’S DO???……………………………RISE DOWN!!!!
WHAT DO FAILCANT’S DO???……………………………RISE DOWN!!!!
WHAT DO FAILCANT’S DO???……………………………RISE DOWN!!!!
WHAT DO FAILCANT’S DO???……………………………RISE DOWN!!!!
WHAT DO FAILCANT’S DO???……………………………RISE DOWN!!!!
WHAT DO FAILCANT’S DO???……………………………RISE DOWN!!!!

The Real Rick

September 10th, 2012
6:31 pm

Rise down? What does that even mean? Ignorant

Gamer

September 10th, 2012
6:34 pm

NEXT MAN UP????

DOMINIQUE FRANKS,,,CHRIS OWENS…..??????

WHO???????

WHOEVER THE NEXT MAN UP IS……HE BETTER BRING IT….BECAUSE THE FALCONS 2012 OPPONENTS GOT A HIGH CALIBER QB’S. QUARTERBACKS, WHO CAN SLING IT…

FALCONS ON THREE, DOMINATE!!!!!!!

SAD TO SAY, BUT GRIMEY MAY NOT BE BACK EVER IN FALCONS UNIFORM……….IF HE DOES COME BACK, NO BIG PAY DAY…..

W. R. Terrell

September 10th, 2012
6:38 pm

Injuries happen, good luck to Grimes with rehab, he is one helluva player and we will see him next year. The “D” line gotta step up bigtime and life goes on.

Not Again. WTF

September 10th, 2012
6:42 pm

Back to Dunta. Down the drain does the season. Broncos might score 60.

Deborah Hall

September 10th, 2012
6:44 pm

To all the negative comments about my son Brent Grimes, if you are not wishing him a successful surgery, then don’t say anything (smh), get a life

SirReal

September 10th, 2012
6:55 pm

All the pessimism is sickening. The Giants had a garbage secondary and won the title. The Pakers had a garbage secondary and won the title. The Pats had a garbage secondary and went to the Super Bowl. Come on now…ALL teams have injuries. Some are more significant than others. This is a big one but nothing we cant overcome.
@Deborah Hall If Grimey is really your kid then I wish him the best. He still has 10 million reasons to keep going. I wish him well b/c I know he wont be with us next year. Just the nature of the biz. N-ot F-or L-ong……

Surg

September 10th, 2012
7:00 pm

Dunta better be ready Monday night, because Manning use to torch the Texans annually when he was apart of the Colts, and Dunta has had many of Manning’s TDs come his way without him putting up much resistance…

GregKennesaw

September 10th, 2012
7:02 pm

I saw a report that the a’ints poached Bryce Harris off our practice squad.

Surg

September 10th, 2012
7:04 pm

*used, a part

Gamer

September 10th, 2012
7:04 pm

OF COURSE, WE WISH GRIMES A SPEEDY WHOLESOME RECOVERY.

GRIMES IS A VALUABLE PLAYER……AND ON ARTHUR BLANK PAYROLL, A VALUABLE PLAYER IN FALCONS COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAMS….

I PRAY GRIMES GET WELL AND COME BACK STRONGER THAN EVER IN FALCONS UNIFORM…

FALCONS ON THREE, DOMINATE!!!

Paddy

September 10th, 2012
7:04 pm

After watching us play KC , I am not going to poor mouth this team Gonna hang w/ these guys.

BamaGuy

September 10th, 2012
7:10 pm

How about some of you guys grow up and realize that adversity happens to every team. It will be about how we respond to it and overcome it that will dictate how our season goes…I know the ATL has a bad history with sports and all but we have to change the culture of how we think around here. I can think of several teams that lost more and still got the job done. . No excuses. We will win in spite of the injuries, refs, or any other outside force that decides to get in our way. That is what champions do…

Dawglasville

September 10th, 2012
7:12 pm

Decon – Respectfully agree to disagree on the Grimes/Spoon debate but I of course hope you are right about the outcome being fine. Go Birds.

MeAngelo Hall

September 10th, 2012
7:17 pm

Put me back on the squad coach. I can be good this time. *promise*

Kramer

September 10th, 2012
7:49 pm

It is obvious that Open Your Eyes is a saints fan living in denial from the weekend.

Ackshun

September 10th, 2012
7:54 pm

Let’s not forget that the loss of a player (DeAngelo Hall) gave Brent Grimes the chance to step up and become Brent Grimes. Injuries happen, the organization is ready. Maybe Dunta Robinson get better when given the chance. Either way, we are going to be just fine.

Surg

September 10th, 2012
7:54 pm

The running game HAS to get going for us to beat the Broncos….Time of possession will play a major part in beating Manning. We have to keep the ball out his hand as long as possible. To the point we might have to turn into Matty Checkdown(Dink and Dunk) to milk that clock and save our defense some energy. We will need Jason Snelling and Quizz more than we ever have this game because Turner has loss his second gear and doesn’t hit the hole as hard as he used to. D-Line must step it up too.

Steamer Lane Bulldog

September 10th, 2012
8:30 pm

I hate to hear this bad news. B Grimes keep your chin up and a speedy full recovery.

P. Manning

September 10th, 2012
8:51 pm

This is great news if your a Bronco. This means P. Manning has a good chance to pick apart our secondary like he did with Pits. He’ll probably throw opposite side of #22 and where ever D. Rob is. You can forget about improving third down conversions. I don’t have much faith in C. Owens or Franks filling in for Grimes. That is too much of a decline in talent. The offense is going to have to bail out the defense. Falcons only hope is offense outscoring Manning and Co and timely turnovers by the defense. keep the ball out of Manning’s hands and control the clock and possession. That’s probably the game plan.

HouseDivided

September 10th, 2012
9:11 pm

A good player to sign would be Chris Lewis-Harris off the Bengals practice squad. He’s from the Atlanta area and looked promising during the Bengals’ preseason games.

Sam

September 10th, 2012
9:20 pm

Crap, it means dunta is going tO get abused even more. He was playing 10 yes off thr receiver and gave up so many 3rd down conversions

b@man

September 10th, 2012
9:31 pm

Franks is under appreciated. Together they will all get the job done.

Surg

September 10th, 2012
9:31 pm

Right P. Manning… If the game goes aerial, we will have problems keeping Denver’s pass rush at bay and the pass rush is monstrous!

phil

September 10th, 2012
9:50 pm

Fire Mike Smith!!

He should’ve hidden this injury for the next 15 weeks….

native atlantan

September 10th, 2012
10:12 pm

It’s a real shame, hope the $10.2 mil he is going to get paid this year will offer him some solace. Dam overpaid atheletes.

DC from Conyers

September 10th, 2012
10:33 pm

Good luck Brent on ur surgery. Hope for a speedy recovery. I know u always gave it your best and all out on the Field. U have always had the ability to “Play Big” a Great atribute. Good luck in ur rehab. We will miss ya “Go Birds”

dave

September 10th, 2012
10:49 pm

Play one game get 10 mill, What a deal!!!

Hobbler

September 10th, 2012
10:57 pm

This is TD and Smith’s fault for refusing to go outside of our bad depth to get a quality #4 CB and keeping Owens in that slot even though he is the worst CB in the NFL. I blogged all off season this was our weak link. Hope we score 50 cause they’re going to score 49.