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Falcons dump Crumpler, Coleman, and others

February 15th, 2008 Comments off

Getty Images/Chris Graythen
The Falcons released seven players today in their attempts to begin the rebuilding process under new head coach Mike Smith and GM Thomas Dimitroff. Among those released were some prominent names including: defensive tackle Rod Coleman, tight end Alge Crumpler, offensive tackle Wayne Gandy, quarterback Byron Leftwich, cornerback Lewis Sanders, linebacker Marcus Wilkins, and wide receiver Jamin Elliott.

Coleman was one of the team’s big free agent signings in 2004. He earned Pro Bowl honors in 2005. In four years with the Falcons, he recorded 114 tackles and 30 sacks, and was considered one of the top interior pass rushers in the league. But this past year, he missed 11 games as he nursed several injuries, and was limited to just 7 tackles and 2 sacks in five starts.

Crumpler ends seven years with the Falcons. He was originally a second round pick in 2001, and led the Falcons in receiving yards for three straight seasons (2004-06). Crumpler went to the Pro Bowl four straight years (2003-06). Over his Falcon career, he had caught 316 passes for 4212 yards and 35 touchdowns, and ranks among the top receivers in Falcons history. Last season he had 42 catches for 444 yards, which was his lowest total in yards since his rookie season. His drop in production was mainly due to injuries and increasing age.

The Falcons acquired Gandy via trade in 2006. He started 16 games that season at left tackle, but missed 11 games this past year due to a torn ACL. Gandy turned 37 this past week and was likely released due to his age.

The Falcons added Leftwich after Week 2 of the season to challenge Joey Harrington for the starting position. Leftwich’s career has long been plagued by injuries, and he was unable to shake that stigma in Atlanta. He managed 2 starts this year, passing for 279 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions.

Sanders and Wilkins were both free agent signings for the team last year. Sanders started 6 games before poor play forced him to the bench. In 14 games, he recorded 33 tackles with no interceptions. Wilkins played exclusively on special teams this year, not notching a single tackle on defense. He finished the year with only 5 tackles on special teams in 15 games. It was a marked decrease from previous production, since in his final three years with the Cincinnati Bengals, he tallied at least 16 stops on special teams.

Elliott sat out the entire year with injury, after going on injured reserve in August. He originally joined the team in 2006, and spent most of that season on their practice squad, before being activated to the roster for the final game of that season. Despite being in the league since 2002, Elliott has never had a reception and has only appeared in a total of 3 games.

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Coleman and Lewis go on IR

November 20th, 2007 Comments off

The Falcons were dealt a severe blow at defensive tackle on Tuesday when they placed both starters Rod Coleman and Trey Lewis on injured reserve. To improve depth, the Falcons signed defensive tackle Jesse Mahelona, promoted defensive end Kevin Huntley from the practice squad, and re-signed end Derrick Jones to the practice squad.

Both Coleman and Lewis suffered their injuries this past weekend against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Coleman injured his triceps and hand on his right arm, while Lewis suffered a severe right knee injury. Depth was already a concern at the position after the release of starter Grady Jackson three weeks ago. After Jackson’s release, Lewis was promoted permanently as the starter at nose tackle. Coleman only returned from injury just five weeks ago.

Jonathan Babineaux and Montavious Stanley are expected to replace Coleman and Lewis, respectively. Babineaux started the first few games of the season in place of Coleman at the undertackle position. Stanley has gotten extensive playing time as the reserve nose tackle much of the season and now will be counted on to start. The team added free agent Tim Anderson a few weeks ago. He’s been inactive thus far, but will likely be counted on to have a much bigger role in the ensuing games.

Mahelona was a fifth round pick of the Tennessee Titans a year ago. Last season as a reserve with the Titans, he recorded 11 tackles and 1 sacks in 10 games. He was released by the Titans after being inactive for Week 1 this season, and joined the Miami Dolphins in October. He was inactive for a single game before the Dolphins released him.

Huntley has been off and on the Falcons practice squad several teams thus far this year. He was originally signed on September 12 and then released on October 9. He was re-signed on October 29. Jones originally joined the team’s practice squad on October 17, but was released two weeks ago.

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Coleman could get first action of the season on Monday night

October 12th, 2007 Comments off

Updating this week’s injury report, the Falcons are listing only two players as out for Monday night’s contest against the New York Giants. Those player are offensive tackle Todd Weiner and linebacker Stephen Nicholas. Weiner is expected to miss two to six weeks with a knee injury and Nicholas suffered a high ankle sprain last weekend and will miss two weeks.

Defensive tackles Jonathan Babineaux (knee) and Rod Coleman (knee), along with linebacker Keith Brooking (hamstring) and quarterback Byron Leftwich (ankle) are all listed as questionable for the game as well. Babineaux was the only one among the four the participated in Friday’s practice. Coleman had limited participation on Wednesday and Thursday, and Petrino expressed optimism earlier in the week that he’d be ready to play on Monday. This game would mark the first for Coleman this season, as he’s been unable to practice for the most part since April. The extra day of rest should benefit the Falcons, as reports indicate that Leftwich’s injury is relatively minor, and he was held out on Friday so that he could extra rest.

Leftwich was promoted ahead of Chris Redman as the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart this week. If Coleman and/or Babineaux are unable to go, Trey Lewis will make his third consecutive start of the season.

As for the players listed as probable on the injury report, they included tight end Dwayne Blakley (chest), safety Chris Crocker (knee), tight end Alge Crumpler (knee/ankle), defensive tackle Grady Jackson (back), and cornerback Lewis Sanders (shoulder). All are expected to play and/or start.

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Coleman and Hall questionable

October 5th, 2007 Comments off

Despite being able to participate on a limited basis in practice this week, including working with the first team defense, defensive tackle Rod Coleman is not completely back. He is listed as questionable on the team’s injury report for this Sunday’s matchup against the Tennessee Titans. Also listed as questionable is cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who suffered an ankle injury in practice.

Coleman has yet to play a down this season, suffering from a thigh injury in the spring and recently recovering from knee surgery. His normal replacement has been Jonathan Babineaux, but he is suffering from an injured knee and the only Falcon to be listed as out this week. Rookie Trey Lewis replaced Babineaux in the starting lineup last week, and will do so again if Coleman does not suit up.

If Hall does not play on Sunday, then he’ll likely be replaced by Chris Houston. Houston started in place of Hall last week when Hall was benched for the first quarter against the Texans.

In other injury news, tight end Dwayne Blakley who has missed the past two games with a chest injury is listed as probable this week and expected to play.

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Lewis to start on Sunday

September 28th, 2007 Comments off

Contrasting earlier reports that he was suffering from only a mild knee injury, the Falcons updated defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux’s status to indicate that he will not play this weekend against the Houston Texans. Babineaux had been serving as an injury replacement for Rod Coleman in the starting lineup, but will now be replaced by rookie Trey Lewis. Head coach Bobby Petrino was hopeful that Babineaux might be able to return next week, but the AJC is reporting that he might miss three weeks. This injury leaves the Falcons with only three active defensive tackles for Sunday. Sharing time with Lewis will be Montavious Stanley, who will perform swing duties at both tackle spots, backing up Lewis and nose tackle Grady Jackson as well. Petrino indicated earlier in the week that it is possible that Coleman will return to the lineup next week. Lewis will be the fourth Falcon rookie to start this season, following Jamaal Anderson, Justin Blalock, and Laurent Robinson. Although there is a good possibility that another rookie starter will be joining him in the lineup, either cornerback Chris Houston or David Irons due to the possible benching of DeAngelo Hall.

In other injury news, both Chris Crocker and Todd Weiner are expected to start and play this weekend. But tight end Dwayne Blakley is listed out once more.

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Coleman still out with sore knee

September 27th, 2007 Comments off

Falcons defensive tackle Rod Coleman was held out of practice today, and is currently listed as out on the Falcons injury report as of Wednesday. He is not expected to play this weekend against the Houston Texans.

Coleman underwent knee surgery just prior to the start of the regular season, and the initial prognosis was that he would miss four games. Coach Petrino indicated during his Wednesday press conference that it is doubtful that Coleman will play this week, and that the team hopes to get him ready for next week. His still has soreness in knee after working it over the weekend.

In other injury news, tight end Dwayne Blakley (pectoral), defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (knee), safety Chris Crocker (knee), and offensive tackle Todd Weiner (knee) also missed practice today due to various injuries. Blakley did not play last week. Babineaux has filled in for Coleman in the starting lineup. Crocker missed the first two games due to the same knee injury, but managed to start against the Panthers this past week. Petrino indicated he expects both Crocker and Weiner to participate in Thursday practices, indicating they should play this weekend. But Blakley is likely to be out for at least another week. No update as of yet on Babineaux. The AJC reports that his knee injury is only mild.

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