Jones waves goodbye
The Falcons ruled wide receiver Julio Jones out for this weekend’s game against the Carolina Panthers due to a hamstring injury he suffered in the fourth quarter while running a deep pattern. In the absence of Jones, the Falcons will likely look for more contributions from reserve Kerry Meier, who in four games played so far this year, has yet to make an appearance on regular offense.
Also not participating in Wednesday’s practice, but their status has yet to be determined for this week’s game are: defensive end John Abraham (groin), tight end Tony Gonzalez (elbow), center Todd McClure (knee), safety William Moore (knee), cornerback Chris Owens (concussion), and guard Garrett Reynolds (ankle).
McClure did not play against the Packers, with Joe Hawley starting in his place for the third time this year in five games. Moore, Owens, and Reynolds all left last weekend’s game with their respective injuries, although Reynolds managed to re-enter the game after suffering his injury. Gonzalez managed to play through his injury.
Also listed on the Falcons injury report were defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, defensive end Cliff Matthews, safety James Sanders, and wide receiver Roddy White. All four players had limited participation in practice. Matthews sat out last week’s game with his knee issue. Babineaux returned last week after suffering an MCL sprain during the season opener.
Categories: The Wire Abraham, Babineaux, Gonzalez, injury, Jones, Matthews, McClure, Meier, Moore, Owens, Reynolds, Sanders, White
There is a fifty percent chance that the Falcons will see defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux return to the lineup this weekend against the Green Bay Packers, as he was listed as questionable on this week’s injury report. Babineaux suffered a sprained MCL in the season opener against the Bears and has missed the past four games. He participated on a limited basis in all three days of practice this week. Also listed as questionable is defensive end John Abraham. Abraham was added to the injury report on Friday due to a hip injury. If Abraham is unable to go, then it’s likely Kroy Biermann will make his first start of the season at right end. Peria Jerry has filled in admirably for Babineaux the past three games at left defensive tackle.
Fellow defensive end Cliff Matthews (knee) and center Todd McClure (knee) will be out this week. Neither practiced this week. McClure missed the first two games of the season with a knee injury, returning to the lineup against the Buccaneers in Week 3. But he re-injured his knee last week midway through the Falcons contest against the Seahawks. He will be replaced by Joe Hawley in the lineup, who has now logged two starts and extensive playing time in a third game so far this year.
Also returning the lineup should be linebacker Stephen Nicholas, who missed the past two games with a calf strain. He practiced on a limited basis this week and is listed as probable. Roddy White (thigh), Jason Snelling (concussion), William Moore (neck), Chris Owens (ankle), and tight end Michael Palmer (ankle) are also listed as probable, as all were able to fully participate in Friday’s practice.
For the Packers, right tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee), safety Nick Collins (neck), defensive Mike Neal (knee), and linebacker Frank Zombo (shoulder) are all out this weekend. Tight end Andrew Quarless (knee) is doubtful and linebacker Brad Jones (hamstring) is questionable.
Categories: The Wire Abraham, Babineaux, Biermann, Hawley, injury, Jerry, Matthews, McClure, Moore, Nicholas, Owens, Palmer, Snelling, White
The Falcons released their injury report this afternoon. On it, cornerback Chris Owens was listed as questionablee with an ankle injury. Owens missed practices on Wednesday and Thursday, but was able to participate on a limited basis on Friday, opening the door for him to suit up this week against the Philadelphia Eagles. Owens served as the team’s nickel cornerback in Week 1′s loss to the Chicago Bears. Those duties will likely be filled by Kelvin Hayden against the Eagles.
Also on the injury report were center Todd McClure and defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, both of whom are out with knee injuries. Babineaux suffered a partial tear of his MCL last week against the Bears. McClure injured his knee during the Falcons third preseason contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers on August 27.
Returning to the Falcons lineup is defensive tackle Corey Peters, who will help alleviate somewhat the loss of Babineaux. Peters injured his knee on August 14, and has been out since. Wide receiver Harry Douglas was also listed as probable this weekend after suffering a concussion last week, but he was cleared by doctors on Thursday, and participated fully in Friday’s practice. Also the Falcons will expect to see fullback Ovie Mughelli (knee) and wide receiver Roddy White (knee) this week, as both are probable.
For the Eagles, defensive end Darryl Tapp (pectoral) is listed as out, linebacker Akeem Jordan (shoulder) is listed as doubtful, and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (ankle) and quarterback Vince Young (hamstring) are both listed as questionable.
The Falcons released their Week 1 injury report today and found two players out for this weekend’s season opener against the Chicago Bears. As reported previously, Todd McClure has been ruled out with a knee injury, but joining him will be defensive tackle Corey Peters who is out with a knee injury. Peters was injured during practice on August 14. In his stead, Peria Jerry will start at right defensive tackle for the Falcons.
Also appearing on the injury report were DT Jonathan Babineaux, C Rob Bruggeman, OT Tyson Clabo, CB Dunta Robinson, DE Lawrence Sidbury, and WR Roddy White. But all are listed as probable for Sunday’s game. All six were able to fully participate in Thursday and Friday’s practices. Robinson (hamstring) and Sidbury (ankle) both missed time at the end of the preseason due to their respective injuries.
For the Bears, running back Marion Barber was ruled out with a calf injury. Wide receiver Sam Hurd (ankle) and defensive end Corey Wootton (knee) were listed as questionable.
Knox Bardeen of CBS Sports reports that cornerback Dunta Robinson (hamstring) will not appear in Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Baltimore Ravens. Falcons head coach Mike Smith indicates that the teams starters will get a reduced a role in that contest, but Robinson will not be among them. Chris Owens has started in Robinson’s stead the past two preseason contests as he’s been nursing that injured hamstring.
Also out will be Todd McClure (knee), Corey Peters (knee), and Lawrence Sidbury (ankle). Earlier today, it was announced that McClure would be out at least through the first game of the regular season. Peters was injured in the Falcons first preseason contest and has been ruled out indefinitely. Sidbury’s injury will make his ability to retain a roster spot difficult since it appears that rookie defensive end Cliff Matthews is emerging as the team’s potential fifth defensive end.
Falcons head coach Mike Smith ruledthat center Todd McClure was out for the team’s regular season opener against the Chicago Bears today, following knee surgery on Monday. That likely means that the Falcons will turn to Joe Hawley as his replacement. Hawley is McClure’s top backup, and was drafted by the team last year in the fourth round as the heir apparent to McClure, who’s contract expires at the end of this season.
While the Falcons have not yet named Hawley the official starter, it is likely that he will earn the spot since he replaced him in past instances where McClure exited games due to injury, including last Saturday’s outing against the Pittsburgh Steelers. But with McClure out for at least the season opener, it also increases the chances that Rob Bruggeman makes the Falcons opening day roster for the second year in a row. Bruggeman has worked as the team’s third string center throughout camp and preseason. Last season, he made the team’s opening day roster, but was subsequently cut the following week and spent the remainder of the season on the practice squad. Bruggeman also spent time on the Falcons practice squad during the 2009 season.
D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reportsthat Falcons center Todd McClure underwent a minor surgical procedure on his knee on Monday according to head coach Mike Smith. Smith did not reveal a timetable for McClure’s return, although it appears likely that he could miss a week or two which would jeopardize his potential to start in the Falcons season opener against the Chicago Bears on September 11.
McClure started this past Saturday’s contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but exited the game fairly early presumably due to the knee issue. Joe Hawley resumed reps with the Falcons first team in his absence, and had his share of struggles going up against 5-time Pro Bowl Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton.
If McClure is to miss the season opener that is two weeks away, Hawley would likely be his replacement. It would mark the former 2010 fourth round picks first career start. McClure has started every game for the Falcons at center for the past 9 seasons. The last game he missed was the season finale in 2001.
C Joe Hawley
Todd McClure hasn’t just been a Falcon, but he’s been an institution. He’s started 169 games during ten and a half seasons as the Falcons starting center. Backups have come and gone during his career, unable to nudge him out of his role.
Whispers of retirement have surrounded McClure for a few seasons now, but he has indicated that he does not plan on slowing down anytime soon. He’ll be 35 years old when his contract is up after the season. And the Falcons will have an interesting decision to make if McClure intends to keep on playing.
He can look at Casey Wiegmann for inspiration, who is the longest-tenured active offensive lineman in the league, with 211 games played in since 1997. The Kansas City Chiefs let go of Wiegmann three years ago due to his age, and he followed with two solid seasons with division rival Denver. And because the Chiefs had not adequately replaced him, he came back this past year to Kansas City and helped improve their struggling offensive line. The Chiefs used a second round pick on Florida State’s Rodney Hudson to prevent making the same mistake again.
The Falcons hope they already haven’t made that mistake, when they took Joe Hawley in the fourth round of last year’s draft. Hawley is clearly being groomed as McClure’s replacement. He hopes to fare a little better than Jeff Van Note’s replacement, Wayne Radloff. After the Falcons got seventeen great seasons from Van Note, Radloff, a Georgia alum and former USFL player, only last three as the team’s starting center.
OT Sam Baker
I keep seeing a bunch of mocks having the Falcons take an offensive linemen in the first round of the draft, and frankly from where I’m sitting, I think the odds are very, very, very low that happens. In fact, I think the odds are fairly low that the Falcons will take an offensive lineman at any point in the draft, let alone the first round. And I’ll explain why, and much of it has to do with the labor strife the league is currently undergoing.
I’m not certain what is going to become of the CBA labor situation the rest of this week or going forward. But let’s look at both scenarios: (1) the pessimistic one where a lockout occurs and there is essentially no player movement between now and the draft and afterwards. And (2) the optimistic one in that a new CBA gets hammered out at some point in the next seven weeks before the draft and that we get some semblance of free agency and a relatively normal off-season. How does either scenario affect the Falcons offensive line situation?
We know that Tyson Clabo, Harvey Dahl, and Justin Blalock all had their contracts expire at the end of the 2010 season. The Falcons quickly were able to re-sign reserve Will Svitek last week, getting him locked up for two more seasons as a Falcon. But those three players that aren’t yet signed represent 60% of the Falcons starting lineup, and arguably the best 60%. Clabo landed a Pro Bowl bid this year, and Harvey Dahl quietly had a second solid year in a Falcon uniform. And even Justin Blalock, the player I thought going into this season was the weakest link of the front five improved his play, and arguably was our most consistent blocker over the second half of the season.
Categories: FalcBlog Blalock, Clabo, Dahl, depth, draft, Hawley, labor, McClure, Mike Johnson, needs, Reynolds, Svitek
Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux was listed as questionable for the regular season finale this Sunday against the Carolina Panthers in the team’s weekly injury report earlier today. Babineaux missed the entire week of practice with a shoulder injury. Also listed as questionable are defensive end Kroy Biermann (calf), linebacker Curtis Lofton (knee), and center Todd McClure (ankle). Defensive end John Abraham (groin) and wide out Roddy White (knee) were listed as probable on the report.
Babineaux was the lone Falcon to miss all three days of practice. Lofton, McClure, and White each missed Wednesday and Thursday practices, but White fully participated on Friday, and both Lofton and McClure had limited participation as well.
Second-year defensive tackle Vance Walker is listed on the team’s depth chart as Babineaux’s primary reason. His absence will likely mean increased playing time for Peria Jerry as well.