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

Ron Mexico's Water Bottle

September 10th, 2012
10:57 pm

Wow…With fans like you guys, who needs enemies?

jaz

September 10th, 2012
11:28 pm

Hey Smitty, blow some sunshine on this blog, as I hear Manning is warming up to his new-found no huddle offense.

Haha

September 10th, 2012
11:30 pm

Mccann can…..

Haha

September 10th, 2012
11:31 pm

Bryan McCann new corner…let’s go

another comment

September 10th, 2012
11:42 pm

Most of you guys are idiots. First you have no idea how diminished someone is who has had 3 cervical surgeries in 2 years. Including a 35 Year old plus professional football player.

I have had three back surgeries, followed by a minor car accident where I was rear ended. My neck sustained 3 herniated discs. I have permanent pins and neddles down my right arm, weakness in my neck. I will refuse to have surgery. Since, every back surgery has made me worse. My last two surgeries I have had one of the NFL’s best back surgeons trying to repair the damage from a minor surgery done by the local University that likes to cheat on the scores they report on who they admit to to US News. Lets just say, they also cheat on the success of their top docs. When a Spine Center Advertises on TV, run, don’t walk.

As for Peyton, you can see it in his face, how he holds himself, how he braces on the steering wheel even while he does his car commercial. That he is in pain from his neck surgeries. That his arms and hands are numb. He will never be a great quarterback again. A leader maybe, a motiator maybe.

old qb

September 11th, 2012
12:01 am

Grimes is gone and so is a big part of what the Falcons defense wanted to be.
Forget any thought of a trade–only ones out there are players that teams want to get rid of. It’s not like the season is over for any of the other 31 teams out there this early in the season.
Smitty cant compound the problem by moving Robinson to an outside corner–they got Samuel because Robinson is a liabiliity on the outside. Result is Owens or Franks with the free safety having to cover more over the top.
Franks is a physical wonder, but he’s not very bright and makes stupid mistakes. Owens plays scared. Maybe there’s someone on the waiver wire.
Now we can see why depth is so critical to go all the way. This is a major concern for the birds.

[...] Brent Grimes for the entire season hurts. Losing him for the entire season less than 24 hours after Matt Cassel moved the ball at will [...]

Just Sayin.....

September 11th, 2012
12:22 am

Dang Flacco was throwing some beautiful bombs man.

Just sayin…..

Gritsfalcon

September 11th, 2012
12:23 am

Man, that hurts. I’m sorry to say I don’t have a whole lot of confidence in Owens versus opposing offense in big, 3rd down situations. I REALLY hope that I am wrong, just that I remember how G. Bay lite him up in that playoff game two seasons ago. And Monday night we get Payton Manning. At least they’ll have an extra day to prepare! Go ‘birds.

TalkReal

September 11th, 2012
1:06 am

One thing I know for sure is that we have to gamblers starting at our corner back positions. Were gonna find out very soon how important Brent’s shutdown abilities are to the team, if you’ve already forgot last years loss in the playoffs.

Cambell Soup

September 11th, 2012
1:28 am

Birdman of Falcatraz

September 10th, 2012
3:25 pm
Unfortunately you have seen the last of Brent Grimes in Atlanta. He will still want significant cash next year even coming off an injury. Having been lost 2 years in a row, can we take a gamble bringing his small body but huge heart back in the fold?

——————————————————————–
My sentiments, exactly; however-I really didn’t quite buy into keeping him for the future. He’s too small and fragile for the kind of durable corner in the NFL. The franchise tag was instituted IMO-because of something that would happen-such as this. Two years of injuries just ain’t going to cut it in this league. Stick a fork in Grimes-cause he’s done in Atlanta.

Columbus

September 11th, 2012
2:23 am

Where is Dominique Foxworth when we need him….Bring back Prime Time

Columbus

September 11th, 2012
2:25 am

Just going to have to have a better pass rush….

Captain Falkunt

September 11th, 2012
3:18 am

Grimes had ONE interception last season. ONE INTERCEPTION. Hope he heals up and wish him well, but he’s not a very good corner, and makes one wonder why Smith spent so much money on him when you could plug literally ANYONE in there and get one interception. ONE INTERCEPTION in TWELVE GAMES? Hell, plug my grandma in there and she will probably get one ball thrown right to here as well.

jay

September 11th, 2012
4:20 am

Captain Falkunt, you can’t go by interceptions alone when determining the worth of a cornerback. When DeAngelo Hall played for the Falcons, he caught alot of interceptions but he also got burned ALOT.

You have to look at less heralded intangibles like passes defensed, touchdowns allowed, pass interference and holding calls, chemistry the Safety….

jay

September 11th, 2012
4:21 am

I meant “chemistry WITH the safety.”

Samuel

September 11th, 2012
4:49 am

It will all play out but Owens has to step-up and Franks get’s a big break. Who can take advantage of the situation? or they’ll have to go outside to get some help.

robertussen

September 11th, 2012
6:48 am

foxworth retired so i was wrong on that one, but brian willams is still out there and even though he is old, he knows atl and would be better in the nickel if we move robinson back to corner than putting owens in there

falconneil

September 11th, 2012
7:34 am

Apart from stating the obvious facts that we all know already, shouldn’t a reporter from a big newspaper actually do some digging? Find us what FA corners are out there, call around and see if any teams cut any decent veteran corners. Come on AJC, actually earn your paychecks please.

dalegribble

September 11th, 2012
7:58 am

Great point falconneil. Maybe it’s the new world of media, but it seems as if reporters throw a topic out there for discussion and leave the fans to do the heavy lifting. You would think that an NFL franchise would merit intense coverage in its hometown newspaper.

Esquire

September 11th, 2012
8:14 am

ThereisASeen sighting

September 10th, 2012
3:06 pm

DLED any lead on what we might do? Anyone available to bring in? Any money to do so? Can the next man up handle the pressure now? I have questions………you got answers?

_______________________________________
Chris wrote the story and it’s got your answers in the story. Read it.

JSS

September 11th, 2012
8:18 am

@ Ledbetter…
When is Ray Anderson going to come down with fines or punishment for Chris Owens for the fight that broke out on the sidelines?

Williams was a slot corner, you need someone who cover outside technique…

Esquire

September 11th, 2012
8:36 am

@Cambell Soup & @ Birdman of Falcatraz

Unfortunately you have seen the last of Brent Grimes in Atlanta. He will still want significant cash next year even coming off an injury. Having been lost 2 years in a row, can we take a gamble bringing his small body but huge heart back in the fold?

——————————————————————–
My sentiments, exactly; however-I really didn’t quite buy into keeping him for the future. He’s too small and fragile for the kind of durable corner in the NFL. The franchise tag was instituted IMO-because of something that would happen-such as this. Two years of injuries just ain’t going to cut it in this league. Stick a fork in Grimes-cause he’s done in Atlanta.
***************************************************************************

Though I don’t share your reasonings I would not argue that Grimes will be back next year, not as a Falcon anyway. So between him and Turner, that’s significant cap space next year.

Esquire

September 11th, 2012
8:43 am

Grimes won’t get anywhere near $10mil money as a free agent next year, not coming off Achilles surgery. That is why there would be a glimmer of possibility he could re-sign with the Falcons.

lukum58

September 11th, 2012
8:53 am

This is going to make a whole new scheme for the falcons. This is so bad. Grimes is going to be missed. It’s going to put more pressure on the safties as well as dunta and Asante. That pash rush they were getting may not be enough now and QBs are going to be throwing where Brent grimes would be. Even though he’s a small guy and isn’t the best CB in the league, within the falcons organization this is a huge huge huge loss

lukum58

September 11th, 2012
8:54 am

And if grimes would have played against the giants last year the game might have been closer maybe even won. I was there. Torched the other side where grimes should have been

JSS

September 11th, 2012
8:58 am

“that’s significant cap space next year.”

You’re not going to have any cap space savings, even if they go away, you have Ryan’s extension (the bonus alone will eat that up)…

Augustabred

September 11th, 2012
9:07 am

This is a huge loss!!! For those of you who keep saying Grimes is too small, HE IS THE SAME EXACT SIZE AS SAMUELS AND ROBINSON!!! BIGGER THAN OWENS!!! And another thing, he’s been the best corner in ATL in a long time! Some of you apparently don’t watch a lot of football if you think he’s not a good corner. Almost every play he’s in position. There is no such thing as a shut down corner because every single one of them (CB) gets a pass thrown their way that will be caught. He will also take a runner heads up unlike a lot of db’s who fly and just try and throw a shoulder at them. The only bright spot about this whole thing is that we lost him early on so Franks/Owens will have more time to get it together.

Augustabred

September 11th, 2012
9:10 am

His interceptions went down because QB’s stopped throwing his way…hhhmmmm Drew Brees!!!!

True Falcon Fan

September 11th, 2012
9:16 am

Hey ZERO: There you go AAAgain, running that 14 D “BIG FLAPPER” —- check it out why would there be a penalty, you are such a MORON!!!!!!!!!

http://www.clarionledger.com/usatoday/article/841816&usatref=sportsmod?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Cimg%7CSports%7Cp

Sad to Grimes go out for the season, he will be missed for sure, hopefully Owens steps-up to the job..

Go Falcons, Great win, Manning and the Broncos next

True Falcon Fan

September 11th, 2012
9:18 am

That’s a “BOTOX” flapper for sure………….

Samuel

September 11th, 2012
9:19 am

Let’s not panic Falcon faithful hopefully Franks or Owens can step-up, if not you have to bring somebody in who can fill that void. Least we forget the Packers and Patriots.

D man

September 11th, 2012
9:38 am

I like Franks, didn’t understand why we cut him to begin with. Owens is not a good CB. Hope he sits on the bench.

Statick

September 11th, 2012
9:48 am

Put Owens on the outside and leave Dunta at nickel. Problem solved.

True Falcon Fan

September 11th, 2012
10:20 am

Hey the way Dunta looked most of the game it maybe better to sit his A$$ and play Franks & Owens…

Go Falcons!!!

TDnoclue

September 11th, 2012
10:21 am

Time to cut this guy. Never was worth the money that he wanted.
Now, lets cut TD because he has no clue.

harold

September 11th, 2012
10:35 am

i really think chris owens will step up he was a shut down corner on the outside in college bad what happened to grimes he was my fav player leave dunte in the slot and play chris outside i think we will be alright

[...] Brent Grimes out for the season [...]

St Simons

September 11th, 2012
10:49 am

um, Peyton Manning – um, Chris Owens

oh no i’ve seen this movie

Justin

September 11th, 2012
11:29 am

what do you guys think about bryant mcfadden filling in at least temporarily?

True Falcon Fan

September 11th, 2012
11:37 am

10:21 —- is that you “ZERO” — sure sounds like a “DUMBA$$” remark from you for sure!

Go Falcons!!

[...] Atlanta Journal-Constitution Click here for full article [...]

fthat

September 11th, 2012
11:47 am

Why do you all assume matt ryan n julio jones n roddy white cant outscore the broncos with or without grimes defensive thwarts??? Because they can…and WILL…scared fans scared money…smh…we goin all the WAY watch..

Nowwehaveasecondary!

September 11th, 2012
12:38 pm

I agree with all of those who have made a comment before this one that D. Robinson must stay in the slot and C. Owens needs to take Brent Grimes right corner position.

Christopher Owens has, without a doubt, proven he cannot play the nickel back position. He is at his best as a right or left corner back.

If the Falcons coaching staff moves D. Robinson back to the outside, then we will have two corner backs playing out of position as the result of the loss of one player.

True Falcon Fan

September 11th, 2012
12:42 pm

11:47 — ComONman, tell it like it is,,,,I’m liken all you say,,,that’s for sure!!!!!!

Go Falcons, Broncos next

Bird Dawg Country

September 11th, 2012
1:11 pm

1st big contract and gets hurt….happens too often.

[...] Brent Grimes out for the season [...]

GAbe

September 11th, 2012
2:47 pm

Somebody said it . We are CURSED. It sure feels that way. WE get samuels only to lose Grimes. WTF! Its like all of the good players get hurt. Good luck grimes, gonna miss you, he brought alot to the secondary. Then again this happens to many teams and the 2nd stringers make up for it. DAM.

Dominique Foxworth

September 11th, 2012
2:58 pm

Falcons signed CB Terrence Johnson who was the colts slot CB last year. Former undrafted FA signed by the NE Pats who played for Indy last year. 5′9″ 185lbs. Went to Cal. No not that Cal. California Pennsylvania….Home of the Vulcans.

A Logical signing no doubt, but Gentlemen, the Chris Owens Era is upon us! Go Git en Dog!

[...] Brent Grimes out for the season [...]