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

DeepDiver

September 10th, 2012
2:47 pm

Cancel the season. Snakebit organization — only makes sense that the most joyful post-opener Monday in years would be met with some horrible, horrible, horrible news.

Seen This B4

September 10th, 2012
2:54 pm

Ah that’s a shame.

Lot’s of injuries in the football world this weekend, especially Tulane’s Devon Walker.

Alabama Falcon Fan

September 10th, 2012
2:55 pm

Injuries happen. Too bad for Grimes, he’s a good player. Next guy in line has to pick-up the slack. (Seems that small frame guys like Grimes and Sanders (with Indy) play beyond what their bodies can take)

Glass Half Full

September 10th, 2012
2:59 pm

Its Ok. I believe Owens and Franks (if still on roster) will step up and surprise everyone. Daunta has to stay as the slot corner.

Birdman of Falcatraz

September 10th, 2012
3:00 pm

Thats a great 10 mil investment there. Too bad we dont have a penny to add a vet to the roster, not that one would be available now anyway.

rollo lawson

September 10th, 2012
3:03 pm

Bring back Darrin Walls for depth. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Falcons go with Owens on the outside with Samuels and leave Dunta in the slot. Owens did a decent job outside last year. Time for this defensive line to step up even more. Ray Edwards, are you listening?????

ThereisASeen sighting

September 10th, 2012
3:03 pm

WOW! Sobering news after the game. Hey Seen at least you got some class man! We can have out banter about your team and mine…..but nice response and a sad day in football. Now about your Aints………..What happened?

mark

September 10th, 2012
3:03 pm

we are in deep troubles what a blow! man robinson is killing us out there he is the worst corner i ever see in years! dimitroff better star thinking about a trade or something its time to get a new corner or the d is gonna be awfull

GT in GoldTown

September 10th, 2012
3:04 pm

We better give this a long term deal. He has earned it, I don’t care how bad his knee is

Just Sayin.....

September 10th, 2012
3:05 pm

dean

September 10th, 2012
3:05 pm

Well, it might not have been a piano that fell out of the sky onto our heads, but it’s dam close.

Owens might step up but I’ll never forget him looking like “I don’t want to be here!” 2 years ago during the great beat-down in the dome.

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?

Mike is Back

September 10th, 2012
3:06 pm

WOW, that was a big blow…he will be sorely missed.

I wish GRIMES much success with his rehab…Guys are going to have to step…Franks should get a chance to get some action…hopefully, he will make the most of this opportunity

RISE UP GRIMES…U CAN DO IT…LET’S GO…LET’S GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just Sayin.....

September 10th, 2012
3:06 pm

Falcons only have 1.3 of cap money.

chc4

September 10th, 2012
3:07 pm

GT in GoldTown — you are awfully generous with Arthur’s money! lol

Chubbyboy

September 10th, 2012
3:08 pm

D-LED…Will management by looking at trade possibilities or will they stick with Franks and Owens??? Tough position to be in especially with Peyton coming to town on Mnoday night!!! This puts a damper on a great opening day win!

mark

September 10th, 2012
3:09 pm

make a trade for somebody theres is no way we can hold up with robinson and owens they just dont have it!

Sam

September 10th, 2012
3:09 pm

Birdman – you took the words right out of my mouth

GT – Why would we give him a long term contract? We shouldn’t have given him as much as we did this offseason. “He has earned it” – umm, what has he done? Brent Grimes is a good NFL corner, but he is no Deion Sanders or Champ Bailey. Heck, he isn’t even Asante Samuel!

Chubbyboy

September 10th, 2012
3:10 pm

D-LED–Will TD consider making trade or stick with Owens and Franks in Grime’s spot? Tough position to be in with Peyon and Co. coming to town on Monday night!

The Big Fat Blogger

September 10th, 2012
3:13 pm

Now would be a great time to trade Turner for some defensive help, not to sure who could be picked up at the moment….. Hopefully, Franks and Owens are ready to finally shine at CB.

mark

September 10th, 2012
3:14 pm

asante samule better start playing like the new england days or we are doom!!! what a blow! im angy and sad man! there is no wayyyy robinosn and owens step up, trade timeeeee!

Bubba Bean

September 10th, 2012
3:15 pm

That’s a big blow. No one is going make a trade with us after season has started – this ain’t baseball. Not even sure who is a FA CB that might be a worthy pick-up. Good thing we traded for Asante on draft day. What a steal that was! Owens & Franks will need to step up & fight it out for RCB. Would be a great story if Franks rises up after being cut.

Just Sayin.....

September 10th, 2012
3:16 pm

My moms basement gets cold this time of year. It makes it hard for my post-it notes of everything Falcons related to stick to the walls. I have some post-its around here somewhere about the meal the Falcons are serving in the cafeteria today.

PMC

September 10th, 2012
3:16 pm

Get well soon Grimetime! We will miss you guy.

Hope Dimitroff is on the horn. If Franks and Owens (beans) play we are in trouble. Owens can’t even run down the field on special teams without having problems.

Very

September 10th, 2012
3:17 pm

ITS A GOOD THING HE DID NOT GET A BIG CONTRACT.

KQuark

September 10th, 2012
3:17 pm

Dimitroff time to earn your paycheck. Owens shows he can cover but has terrible ball skills. I don’t know if you can teach that but if you can Nolan and his crew need to go to work.

Greg Mendel

September 10th, 2012
3:17 pm

I’ve always liked Grimes, and I hate to see this happen to him and the team. But, if Nolan sticks with that BVG soft coverage, it won’t matter. KC receivers were wide open way too often on Sunday.

Before the game, I thought simply ditching the soft coverage and adding a real pass rush could make all the difference. It still should.

GTT

September 10th, 2012
3:18 pm

Thank goodness for the Asante Samuel pickup.

PMC

September 10th, 2012
3:18 pm

Prayers of course for Devon Walker

ijonathan

September 10th, 2012
3:19 pm

It’s all Jeff Fish’s fault…right?

Dawglasville

September 10th, 2012
3:21 pm

Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap. Our best defensive player. This is going to take some real coaching to cover this void.

RUDEDAWG

September 10th, 2012
3:24 pm

Hate to hear that,but Grimes is not a shut corner,he’s an overachiever for the most part, I never bought into the whole Grimes thing,he’s solid,but an liability in the run and pass game,especially on 3rd and long,other teams go directly at supoosedly our BEST corner! GTFOH! See Ya GRIMES!

Buffy

September 10th, 2012
3:24 pm

Bring back Prime Time!!

the silverman

September 10th, 2012
3:24 pm

Thats a bruttal loss. Hopefully the D-line will step it up in his absence.

to real

September 10th, 2012
3:24 pm

Decon

September 10th, 2012
3:24 pm

@Dawglasville, actually Weatherspoon is our best defensive player. This could be a blessing in disguise.

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?

YoMomma

September 10th, 2012
3:26 pm

I feel sorry for Grimes. He has got to live with that wife of his and she aint gonna be happy that for certain there aint gonna be no BIG CONTRACT now!

JS in LA

September 10th, 2012
3:26 pm

D Led – Few questions:

1) Does the club get his contract value (or some part of it) back from insurance?

2) Does putting him on IR result in any cap savings (from which we could sign another player?)

3) How does the franchise tender he sign compare to what he would have been guaranteed under a long-term deal? In otherwords, how much money does this injury end up costing Grimes since he’s a free agent after the season?

Bubba Bean

September 10th, 2012
3:27 pm

On playing Peyton & Broncos so quickly after this injury. …Playing on MNF helps in that it gives ATL another day to prep. I’m not so sure Peyton can throw it as deep as he could pre-surgery. All of his passes last night were short & the reports were that he couldn’t throw it deep in training camp. I’d consider starting Franks since he is bigger and then have he & Asante jam Thomas & Decker at the line. And/Or play off a little but jump the routes for an INT.

Layinlow

September 10th, 2012
3:28 pm

Dimitroff has drafted corners and offensive lineman every year since he has been here and we still don’t have anyone at either of those positions worth a darn. Outside of Matt Ryan falling into his lap in year one and trading two drafts to get Julio jones his drafts have came up way short. He’s one of the most overated personnel guys in the nfl.

OPEN YOUR EYES

September 10th, 2012
3:28 pm

I BET YOU PEYTON MANNING IS SALIVATING AT THE CHANCE TO DESTROY FAILCAN’TS SECONDARY AND PUT THE EARLY DEFENSIVE GLORY TO REST!!! HAHAHAHA!!!!

ATLANTA IS CURSED, FIRST LOFA TATUPU NOW BRENT GRIMES!!!!!

Doodaddy

September 10th, 2012
3:28 pm

If the offense can play all season like they did in KC, the loss of Grimes won’t matter that much. Still, I hate to see Grimes out – the guy is a real gamer.

5ooo

September 10th, 2012
3:29 pm

Man…….I really feel for the guy. He ALWAYS worked hard, never complained about his contract, always made plays, you name it he has done it. I hope he comes back next year and I hope the falcons give him a shot to contribute next year. I don’t want this to be his last time as a falcon.

Birdman of Falcatraz

September 10th, 2012
3:29 pm

As for being a liability, Grimes was not. He put a lot more effort into to run support than Dunta or Asante do.

Cejay

September 10th, 2012
3:33 pm

Seen, exactly how do you come up with thse screen names ??? You’re not fooling anyone, theres not that many people concerned with the Falcons on the scale you are…….living in your head rent free

Greg

September 10th, 2012
3:33 pm

I can’t believe that Nolan would put Dunta back at corner after watching him (try to) tackle yesterday. That $50+ million guy will never again be in our base package at corner. As someone said, he’ll be relegated to the slot forever. Frankly, he’s lucky he’s playing anywhere. That brings us to Owens. Is this the same Chris Owens we’ve all seen before? Am I hallucinating? Chris Owens at corner? Again, I cannot believe Nolan would do it.

Falcons Girl

September 10th, 2012
3:34 pm

I’m so sad, I love Brent Grimes. I hope he gets better soon and our defense looks like they did yesterday in the second half against Peyton and the Bronco’s offense on MNF. Whoever said Ray Edwards needs to step it up couldn’t be more right, stop taking pictures of yourself and all the pampering for Instagram and use that time to practice son!!

SirReal

September 10th, 2012
3:35 pm

Sorry to hear this news about Grimes. Even worse for Devon Walker. I’m praying for his family. That injury is a LOT more serious and life altering than Grimes’. This is a brutal sport and everyone should remember that.
With that said, I hope TD is on the phone. I have NO confidence in Chris Owens. Hopefully we can bring in someone. I say trade Turner for someone of value. His days here are obviously in the twilight phase. He wont be a Bird next year unfortunately. I thank him for his great years of service but he’s not the Burner anymore. In the words of Mike Tomlin, “Next man up…”

BlessingInDisguise

September 10th, 2012
3:37 pm

Very bad news coming off an impressive win. Bright side is that we have #22….D-line is going to need to pull their weight even more so now. We barely had any pressure on Matt Cassel. With Peyton Manning coming to town, he is going to pick us a part if we dont get to him early.