FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. Atlanta cornerback Brent Grimes, a 2010 Pro-Bowler whom the Falcons used their franchise tag upon this past offseason, was placed on the injured reserve list and will miss the rest of the season, head coach Mike Smith said on Monday.
Smith said Grimes would have surgery and that the recovery time would extend beyond the end of the season.
The pass defense has proved the Falcons greatest weakness in Smiths first four seasons, never finishing above 20th in the NFL. In two of the past three offseasons, the Falcons have made it their top priority, signing Dunta Robinson in 2010 and then trading for four-time Pro-Bowler Asante Samuel this year.
Smith said Grimes injury will force the coaching staff to reconfigure their nickel package with Robinson and Samuel now assuming the starting spots in the base defense.
Smith said that the Falcons only played their base defense for 11 plays on Sunday, meaning that they used their nickel package with Samuel, Grimes and Robi...