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Falcons waive Meier

April 22nd, 2013 Comments off

The Falcons announced that wide receiver Kerry Meier was waived today. Meier spent this past season on injured reserve with an undisclosed leg injury. It was the second time Meier spent time on the injured reserve, after suffering a torn ACL in his first training camp in 2010. Meier was a fifth round pick by the Falcons that same year out of Kansas.

Meier began his college career as a quarterback before moving to wide receiver. He finished his career at Kansas as a highly productive wideout in their spread attack, breaking their single season record for receptions with 102 as a senior. Meier’s only action with the Falcons came in 12 games in 2011 where he played predominantly on special teams, without recording a tackle.

Categories: News Tags: ,

Falcons Needs: Wide Receiver

February 1st, 2013 Comments off

The quarterback, running back, and fullback positions have already been discussed, making it time to move on to the second to last of the offensive skill positions: wide receiver. It would be a tough argument to suggest that the Falcons don’t feature the league’s premier pair of wide receivers in Julio Jones and Roddy White. Both players are coming off spectacular 2012 seasons and both are under contract at least through the 2014 season. So it’s conceivable that the Falcons can boast the premier duo for at least two more seasons.

But the Falcons depth at wide receiver is questionable and may need to be addressed. The team re-signed Harry Douglas last off-season to a four-year deal. While Douglas is a capable reserve that will make plays from time to time, he’s not the caliber of receiver that is a consistent option from week to week. Douglas fills his particularly niche ably, but he doesn’t really possess a skillset that extends outside the niche. That niche consists mainly of a slot receiver that does his best work on the short and intermediate routes. When Douglas is asked to go vertical or play on the outside, he essentially becomes a fairly middling option for the team. It would behoove the Falcons to find a player that is complementary to Douglas that does fit that outside/vertical mold. Such a player could allow the Falcons to make more use of either Jones or White in the slot, something that has proven effective over the past two years. And in the event of an injury to either starter it would still give the team a good explosive option downfield that will prevent the team from resorting to the dink and dunk style that has limited them in the past. Not to mention the likely departure of Tony Gonzalez also means that the Falcons may have to rely on multiple options to fill that void.

The Falcons could opt to find this player in free agency or the draft. Neither avenue seems to be a better option than the other. Free agency probably will cost a bit more, but you certainly are getting a more proven commodity that can contribute immediately. If the Falcons opt to draft someone, the value there is the potential that cheaper player can potentially develop into a starter in 2015 or beyond. Roddy White will be 33 when his contract expires at the end of 2014, and typically receivers of his caliber can produce as starters up to around age 35 or 36. So while he may still have something left in the tank, by 2015 one can expect to see diminishing returns. Thus it behooves the Falcons that if possible, they can start to groom his eventual replacement sooner rather than later. Another benefit of signing a free agent is the potential that player could challenge or surpass Douglas on the depth chart and thus represent a clear and immediate upgrade to the spot. On the other hand with a rookie, you run the risk that the player makes little to no contribution in his first year, and the possibility that he never does.

Kevin Cone, Drew Davis, and Kerry Meier all will also be in camp next summer as all three are signed through 2013. All three players have flashed ability to provide depth for the team, but not to a degree that suggests any are ready to be significant options in the Falcons passing game next year. All three players’ primary value to the Falcons is on special teams, but again due to the potential departure of Gonzalez, there is room for guys to start contributing offensively. Cone possesses a skillset that probably best fits what the Falcons might be looking for in a fourth option due to his size and vertical speed, but he has struggled with consistency and catching the ball in his short time in Atlanta. Davis possesses good quickness suggesting his potential may lie in the slot, but he is still unpolished. Meier is a big target with good hands, but has marginal speed and quickness to suggest he poses much of a threat to NFL defenses. James Rodgers, Tim Toone, and Marcus Jackson will also be in camp next year. And while they have developmental potential, the Falcons probably can’t expect to get anything more out of them that they didn’t get out of Cone, Davis, or Meier this past year.

Now, I doubt this position will be a high priority for the Falcons. They may not consider it a need at all. They certainly did not a year ago. Last year, they brought 11 receivers to training camp, and currently 9 wideouts are under contract for the team. They may just bet that between the half dozen guys not named Sharod, Harold, and Quintorris, competition will be enough to get more from this position group. Personally, I’m not sure if that’s a good bet.

Falcons cut 19 to get down to the roster

August 31st, 2012 Comments off
Alan Maglaque-US PRESSWIRE

Dominique Franks, among surprise cuts

The Falcons announced the cuts made today to get their roster down to 53 players. The team released 22 players including running back Dimitri Nance; fullback Mike Cox; wide receivers D.J. Davis, Marcus Jackson, and James Rodgers; offensive linemen Bryce Harris and Tyler Horn; defensive tackles Conrad Obi and Micanor Regis; linebackers Spencer Adkins, Rico Council, Jerrell Harris, and Pat Schiller; cornerbacks Dominique Franks, Marty Markett, and Peyton Thompson; safety Suaesi Tuimaunei; and long snapper Joe Zelenka.  The team also reached injury settlements with tight end LaMark Brown and guard Andrew Jackson, while waiving-injured wide receiver Kerry Meier, and placing safety Shann Schillinger on injured reserve.

Among the cuts, notable ones include Cox, Adkins, Franks, and Zelenka played with the team last season. Cox lost the battle to fullback Lousaka Polite, who was signed three weeks ago for the battle for the starting fullback position. Cox joined the team last October after the injury to Ovie Mughelli. Adkins was a sixth round pick of the Falcons in 2009 that had his best season a year ago, starting 1 game and recording 5 tackles as a reserve linebacker. Franks started 4 games last year at cornerback as a replacement for Brent Grimes, and was considered a front-runner for taking over the punt return duties this year. Franks was originally a fifth round pick in 2010. Zelenka has been the Falcons since 2009, but lost the long snapping job to undrafted rookie Josh Harris.

With these moves, several players made the Falcons roster for the first time. Five of the team’s six draft picks made the final roster, with the sixth player: Bradie Ewing already on injured reserve. Harris joined quarterback Dominique Davis and guard Phillip Manley as one of three undrafted free agents that made the team. Quarterback Luke McCown, signed earlier this week is also a newcomer to the roster. Wide receivers Kevin Cone and Tim Toone also made the team as reserves. Cone spent last year on the Falcons practice squad, but Toone was added earlier this month in camp. Alongside Cone, tight end Tommy Gallarda was able to elevate himself from a practice squad spot last year to a full roster position this year. Free agent pickups in cornerback Asante Samuel, safety Chris Hope, and cornerback Robert McClain are also first time Falcons.

Falcon Players To Watch Tonight vs. Dolphins

August 24th, 2012 Comments off

Tonight marks the final dress rehearsal for the regular season, at least as far as the starters go. They will likely play the entire first half and a bit into the third quarter as well. Most of the guys you’ll see on the field during that time period are locks to make the roster. Next week, most of those same players will sit for the preseason finale. The third preseason game is often considered to be the most important because it more closely mirrors the intensity of the regular season. With that in mind, here are some Falcon players that you should be keeping your eyes on against the Miami Dolphins:

Michael Turner – Turner has rushed 8 times for a total of 14 yards this preseason, not a good look for him. He has been successful on two of those runs. He hasn’t had great blocking up front, but he needs to step it up against the Dolphins. Turner wants to silence the doubters and having a solid performance in his final preseason action will be a key aspect in doing so.

Sam Baker – Baker has been really spared this summer, with both Terrell Suggs and Carlos Dunlap, Baltimore and Cincinnati’s top pass rushers, respectively being out of the games. Baker has yet to really be tested. Well this week, he should get tested against Cameron Wake, and it should be a nice indicator whether the Falcons brass was right to have confidence in Baker in 2012.

Lamar Holmes – Holmes will make his preseason debut tonight and should get a ton of reps. He’ll be one to watch to indicate whether the Falcons have good depth at left tackle. Holmes is not in the mix to start given his lack of reps, but he can answer questions about whether the Falcons might need to look at other tackles come cutdown days if he doesn’t have a good performance tonight.

Kerry Meier – I’ll keep harping on Meier needing to emerge until he does. Meier needs to show that he is capable of stepping into the lineup in the event of an injury to Jones, White, or Douglas, and has yet to do so. It would be nice to see him go out in the first half or so against the Dolphins starters and make a play. He missed the Bengal game with a leg injury and needs to play and produce against the Dolphins.

Ray EdwardsLast time I mentioned that Edwards stock was down due to the fact that he was being pulled off the field in nickel situations. This week if that remains the case, then Edwards makes the most of his pass rushing situations against the Dolphins.

Akeem Dent – Dent is back after missing last week’s game with a concussion. He had his ups and downs against the Ravens, and needs to come back with a performance against the Dolphins that shows more ups than downs. In particular, he needs to improve in coverage to at least give the team faith that he won’t be totally lost if he has to pull extended reps there during the regular season.

Falcon Players to Watch Tonight vs. Bengals

August 16th, 2012 Comments off

Looking at several Falcon players that are in prime position in tonight’s preseason matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals to stand out and make a big push to make this Falcons team come September.

  • WR Kevin Cone – While the offensive production of Cone and the other receivers is what is easiest to pay attention to, the key for Cone making the Falcons roster will be his performance on special teams. With D.J. Davis already putting some nice highlights there last week, it’s time for Cone to step up and start to make some key contributions. Otherwise regardless of his offensive potential, he won’t be a Falcon in 2012.
  • WR Kerry Meier – Meier was highlighted last week, and will be so again. Against the Ravens, he played with the first unit taking over the third wide receiver spot for Harry Douglas and did not notch any production. With Douglas returning to the lineup, he’ll likely be pushed to the second units where he can start to make an impact on offense. While Meier’s roster spot is pretty much locked up, he needs to start producing on offense to verify that the Falcons depth is not weak at this position.
  • DE Cliff Matthews – Matthews had a nice performance last week against the Ravens, and will need another solid to strong one tonight. He’s in a battle with Jonathan Massaquoi for the fifth defensive end spot. If push comes to shove, it’s likely that Matthews will be the odd man out if the team is forced to choose only one of the pair. But both players have performed well enough to think the Falcons might try and keep six ends. But that will only become a possibility if Matthews continues to play well.
  • DT Micanor Regis – While Travian Robertson’s play was highlighted from last week’s preseason opener, Regis also made some things happen against the Ravens. Regis has the sort of bulk and presence in the middle to play the nose in a three-man front. While it seems doubtful that he’ll win an outright roster spot, continuing to play well this summer likely can lock up a practice squad spot for him. But his roster chances are enhanced if Vance Walker sits out once more tonight.
  • LB Mike PetersonHe will get the start tonight for an injured Akeem Dent. Few have ever questioned Peterson’s ability to defend the run, and if Dent cannot show he’s significantly better in pass coverage, then it’s possible the team could lean towards the veteran Peterson as the starting middle linebacker. But he’ll need to stand out against the Bengals for that possibility to occur.
  • CB Dominique Franks – It won’t really be Franks coverage abilities that will be worth monitoring, but his return skills. With the team electing not to use Douglas on returns, Franks has a perfect opportunity to solidify his hold on the position. Another productive night could be the nail in the coffin for that competition.
  • S Shann Schillinger – Charles Mitchell made a bit of a name for himself last week on defense, and it’s time for Schillinger to step up his game a little. While Schillinger has proven himself to be one of the team’s best special teams players, he needs to showcase that he does offer some upside on regular defense to really solidify his roster prospects.

Falcon Players to Watch Tonight vs. Ravens

August 9th, 2012 Comments off

Here is a list of several Falcon players that are worth paying some extra attention to if and when they get on the field tonight against the Baltimore Ravens in the team’s preseason opener. Typically in the first game of the preseason, the majority of the Falcons starters will only get a series or two of work. Then the reserves come in and remain in for the remainder of the game. The second half of the game typically will be full of players that don’t have a firm grip on the roster.

Typically fans will try and draw strong conclusions from that first series or so when both teams’ first team units are in. And while scoring a touchdown is certainly a positive development and should be a goal, people should not be too judgmental over things in an exhibition game where neither team has game-planned against the other. A typical regular season game will have a team having up to a dozen offensive possessions, and trying to extrapolate the performance of one or two series to that makes little sense when the overarching themes of tonight when it comes to the starters will be to avoid injury and not tip one’s hand. If you’re going to want to judge the first unit offense and defense, wait until the second and third preseason games for a better litmus test.

However, the first preseason game is a prime opportunity for many of the second and third unit players to shine and potentially take an early lead or make up one in some of these position battles. Roughly two-thirds of the final 53 that will make the Falcons this year is fairly set in stone, but that latter third which will be filled primarily with those that can shine on special teams is relatively wide open. Strong performances tonight can build off each other in subsequent practices and preseason games, and thus go a long way for some to make the team.

 

  • Antone Smith – While Smith has been labeled a darkhorse candidate for the kickoff returner spot, it seems that it makes the most amount of sense if he wins the job outright. That way, the Falcons won’t be forced to activate a fifth receiver on gamedays (such as James Rodgers), and won’t have to expose Jacquizz Rodgers to greater potential for injury. So it will be interesting to see if Smith or any of the other candidates on the roster can perform and make an impression as returners in tonight’s game.
  • Garrett Reynolds – With the Falcons seemingly comfortable with Sam Baker at left tackle, the only contested starting position on the entire offense is right guard. Reynolds is currently the starter and has been praised by the coaching staff and training camp observers alike this summer. While most of the offensive starters will likely only get a single series of reps tonight, traditionally the Falcons leave the starting offensive line in for a few more series. It should give them a longer look at Reynolds to see how much improvements he’s made last year. The key to watch for Reynolds will be whether he’s improved his technique, which will be determined by how low he plays. Reynolds’ height is a disadvantage inside at guard, and he’ll need to play much lower than he did throughout 2011 where he struggled in pass protection.
  • Akeem Dent – Similar to Reynolds, Dent is expected to be the lone major change in the defensive starting lineup this year. It’s unlikely he’ll get a ton of a playing time against the Ravens, but it would greatly alleviate the concerns of many Falcon fans if during that time he can make a couple of nice stops and tackles.
  • Peria Jerry – With Corey Peters out with a foot injury and no set time-table for when he could return, Jerry finds himself with a prime opportunity to excel. Essentially the door is open for Jerry to take back the starting job that he lost in 2010 when he himself was coming off a major injury. The key for Jerry that he will need to show this summer is if much of the explosiveness he lost due to that knee injury has returned now that he’s nearly three years removed from it. As well has he improved his hand use and technique that will allow him to better get leverage against the run and beat blockers will moves as a pass rusher.
  • John Parker Wilson – This summer marks the last chance for Wilson to make an impression as a passer. He’ll need to play well tonight, assuming he gets reps in the second half. The team carried two quarterbacks on the roster last season, with Wilson spending the first half of the year on the practice squad. But without a better effort this summer than he had last summer, it’s doubtful he’ll even get that opportunity. He’s entering his fourth summer in the NFL, and should be showing much better command and anticipation when running the Falcons offense than he has shown to date.
  • Bradie Ewing – Ewing has an opportunity to start this year, but needs to hit the ground running in his first preseason game. He’ll need to perform in three phases this summer to usurp Mike Cox as the starter: 1) as a lead blocker 2) as a receiver and 3) on special teams. Ewing is capable in all three areas and certainly offers more upside than Cox, but he’ll need to prove it starting with tonight’s game. Another key area to watch is pass protection. Will he handle his opportunities there with ease and hit his assignments.
  • Kerry Meier – The time is now if Meier is going to emerge as anything more than a special teams player. Meier has always displayed that he has good hands, but the key for him will be to show he can separate and get open against man coverage. He needs to have a good summer as a receiver to reassure fans that the team doesn’t have a depth problem at wide receiver. Meier’s primary role this season will be on special teams, but in the event of an injury to Jones, White, or Douglas, he’s going to be called upon to perform a big role on offense. Against the caliber of talent he’ll be facing this summer, he should be more productive offensively than he has shown thus far.

Camp Battles 2012: Wide Receivers

July 2nd, 2012 Comments off
Fernando Medina-US PRESSWIRE

Kerry Meier

The backup positions at wide receiver will likely be some of the most contested positions on the roster this summer in training camp. The Falcons are pretty much locked in at the top of their depth chart, but are intent on seeing what competition can brew on the back-end.

Roddy White and Julio Jones will remain starters this year, and the team is looking for the latter to really step up this year. Jones showed flashes of his ability, particularly in the latter half of last season. The team hopes that with a complete off-season this spring and summer, he’ll be better prepared to be able to play at a similarly high level throughout the course of the entire 2012 season.

White is one of the more reliabe players on the entire team, and you can be certain he’ll play very well this year. He is coming off a year where he had a large number of drops, and he’ll be looking to redeem himself in 2012. But you can expect White to be the team’s top wideout throughout the season. And if that is not the case, it’ll likely be because Jones has really stepped up his game rather than any fall-off from White.

Behind them on the depth chart, but playing what in today’s NFL is practically a starting position himself is third wideout Harry Douglas. Douglas showed improvement a year ago after having a full season coming off his knee injury, and the team hopes he will also continue that upward trend this year. Douglas is at home in the slot, but he got a lot more opportunities on the outside last year due to injuries to Jones. The team is hoping that getting stronger should help allow him to contribute more there this year.

Behind those three receivers is really where the question marks lie. The Falcons have a large number of unproven wideouts and prospects expected to compete for what will likely be two, possible three roster spots.

The player who is most likely to emerge from that group for a spot is third-year player Kerry Meier. The Falcons traditionally have given their fourth and fifth wideouts extensive reps on special teams rather than offense. But for Meier unlike the others, the team may be paying more attention to his contributions this summer on offense. His size, hands, and blocking potential gives him some upside to contribute on offense, but he hasn’t quite put it all together in his two previous summers. The team knows what he potentially brings to the table on special teams, which gives him an edge there, but it doesn’t fully know his potential on offense.

Returning from last year’s practice squad are Kevin Cone and D.J. Davis. Cone is a player that has a good combination of size, athleticism, and speed. He got some work on special teams in the season finale. If he can impress in coverage as well as showcase some big play ability in preseason will likely give him an edge over the others. Davis is more quick than fast that flashed some ability last summer. Between the two, much larger expectations are being heaped on Cone.

Among the rest of the position group, the team will have a bunch of undrafted free agents competing for spots. And it’s likely their ability on special teams will trump any offensive production they may be inclined to show. Also the vacant return duties will factor in here, as whoever becomes the team’s kickoff and punt returners could shake up depth across the roster. That mainly goes for James Rodgers, the brother of Jacquizz, who is competing for the open kick return duties. Rodgers was one of the few undrafted free agents that the Falcons signed that was productive throughout his college career on kickoff returns. He is now nearly two years removed from a major knee injury similar to Douglas, and the team is hopeful that similarly he can regain some of that explosive burst he showcased prior to the injury.

Mike Calvin was a backup throughout his Cal days. But that gave him a large amount of experience working on special teams. Like Cone, he has a good combination of natural size and speed which can be effective as a gunner on special teams. Marcus Jackson began his collegiate career as a quarterback, but made the eventual switch to wideout. Kenny Stafford’s biggest claim to fame is that his uncle is former NFL wideout Cris Carter, but he hopes that his play on the field this summer in camp and preseason will give the team and its fans another reason to remember his name. All three of these players weren’t super-productive while playing in college, but unlike most summers they all have a fairly strong chance to make the roster rather than just trying to impress enough for a practice squad position.

But an issue the Falcons may have to address in the late summer is that if none of the young guys really step up to be able to fill those depth roles, the team may have to sign a veteran player. A number of proven wide receivers will find themselves out of a job come late August and September as roster cuts are made, and the Falcons might make the decision to try and bolster it with a more known commodity than these untested players. That could especially become relevant based around how the competition at the return spots shakes up. Any veteran player the Falcons add between now and the start of the season is likely to be a guy they want to help as a return man rather than any potential offensive production.

FalcFans Podcast – Ep. 17 “The One About the Falcons”

June 10th, 2012 Comments off

In this week’s episode, Ryan and I get back to the grind of talking about the Falcons. Taking segments of recent live shows where we talk about different position groups on the offense, this episode is an amalgamation (I know, big word) of those discussions. Also included in this episode is our interview with The Bleacher Report’s Scott Carasik, another knowledgeable Falcon fan. If you want to hear practically every offensive player on the Falcons roster get discussed, then this is the episode for you. Topics range from who will make the roster to what can be expected from different players this year. What if any changes that Dirk Koetter has will affect different players and positions. Ryan and I get into a long debate about what exactly is an elite quarterback. Michael Turner’s future, Chris Redman, Kerry Meier, Julio Jones, and Sam Baker are other Falcon players that get extensive discussions in this episode.

Ep. 17: The One About the Falcons [Download]

Duration: 1 hour, 39 minutes

 

If you have any questions and comments, you can hit us up on Twitter, post in the forums in the podcast thread, or drop Ryan an e-mail at: ryan-valdez@live.com. Don’t forget to drop by every week to hear our live broadcast at: justin.tv/didziojo

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. You can also subscribe directly to our feed at the following URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/falcfans/LXSt

2012 Key Player: Julio Jones

May 28th, 2012 1 comment
US PRESSWIRE

Julio Jones

When looking over the final numbers that Julio Jones posted in 2011: 54 catches, 959 yards, 17.8 avg, and 8 touchdowns, you would think he was one of the most feared wideouts in the league. Then considering that he missed what combined to be 3.75 games (about 15 quarters), then his production becomes even more astounding. His projected 1253 yards over 16 games would have had him finished 10th in the league in yards not far behind Roddy White (1296 yards), and his 10 touchdowns would have ranked 6th, exceeding that of White and players like Wes Welker, Victor Cruz, Vincent Jackson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Greg Jennings. But as usual, when one examines only the raw numbers it can paint an inaccurate picture. A deeper look at Jones performance in 2011, particularly when you look at each game paints a slightly different picture.

Not to slight Jones and his excellent rookie season, but there were trademark signs of the inconsistency that is common among first-year wideouts that is not easily seen if you just look at the overall numbers. Two prime examples of this was his Week 3 performance against the Bucs and his Week 13 performance against the Panthers. In both games, his final box score numbers looked great with 6 catches for 115 yards against Tampa Bay and 3 catches for 104 yards and 2 touchdowns against Carolina. But in both games, Jones was extremely quiet for the first three quarters of the game.

Against Tampa Bay, he was targeted a grand total of 2 times in the first three quarters, catching the ball once for an 18-yard gain. With the Falcons down 16-3 going into the fourth quarter, Jones was able to turn things on, catching all 5 of his targets for 97 yards including a 49-yard bomb that set up a scoring play to Tony Gonzalez which cut the Bucs lead to 6 points with 10 minutes to go on the game.

Against the Panthers, through the first three quarters Jones had been targeted a total of 6 times, catching the ball only once for 12 yards. That also included 2 dropped passes. Then in the fourth quarter, he caught a pair of touchdowns on his only two targets for a total of 92 yards.

These two games are perfect illustrations of the highs and lows that Julio Jones experienced in 2011. With the highs you get that game-changing big play ability that this offense was sorely lacking in previous seasons. But with the lows, you get next to nothing where he is virtually a non-existent factor in the offense.

Another often overlooked thing was Jones number of drops. While most observers criticized Roddy’s league-leading 15 drops, forgotten is that Jones had 9 of his own. Once you factor in targets (91 for Jones, and 175 for White according to Pro Football Focus.com), you realize that Jones dropped a slightly higher percentage of passes than White did: 9.8% for Jones vs. 8.6% for White.

The key for the Falcons in 2012 is to find ways to minimize those lows while also being able to maintain or maximize the highs. That will be potentially the biggest priority that new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter will need to accomplish this year. And if the Falcons can get him to a point where opposing defensive coordinators have to fear him the most, then that opens up opportunities for their other weapons.

Read more…

Categories: Features Tags: , , ,

Grimes questionable for Giants game

January 6th, 2012 Comments off

While twenty players appeared on the Falcons Friday injury report, the majority of them were able to fully participate in the last two or three days of practice this week. Listed among the players that were not are linebacker Stephen Nicholas and cornerback Brent Grimes. Nicholas is doubtful for Sunday’s playoff game against the New York Giants, while Grimes is listed as questionable. Nicholas (turf toe) did not practice all week, and has missed four of the past five games with that injury. He is expected to be replaced by Spencer Adkins, who got his first career start last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Grimes missed both Wednesday and Thursday’s practices with his knee injury, but was able to go on a limited basis on Friday. Missing Thursday practice was considered a precautionary measure by head coach Mike Smith. Grimes missed last weeks’ reguar season finale after returning the week before against the New Orleans Saints. If Grimes is unable to go, then Dominique Franks would likely get the start at left cornerback. Before returning against the Saints, Grimes had missed three straight games, all of which he was replaced by Franks in the starting lineup.

Also listed on the injury report as probable were wide receivers Harry Douglas (groin) and Kerry Meier (groin), safety William Moore (groin), tight end Michael Palmer (knee), and running backs Jason Snelling (knee) and Michael Turner (groin). All except Snelling (limited participation) were held out of Wednesday’s practice. All would go on a limited basis on Thursday. Palmer and Snelling were able to participate fully on Friday, while the others still were limited.

For the Giants, linebacker Mark Herzlich was listed as out for the game with an ankle injury. Defensive end Justin Tuck was added to the injury report on Friday with a shoulder injury, but is probable for Sunday’s game. Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) missed both Wednesday and Thursday practices, but returned on a limited basis on Friday. He is listed as probable along with tight end Jake Ballard (knee), running back Da’Rel Scott (knee), offensive tackle Tony Ugoh (ankle), defensive end Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee), and cornerback Corey Webster (hamstring).