Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 9/10/12
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 Robinson for the entire rest of the game. Another option is to play second-year middle linebacker Akeem Dent more (he comes out in the nickel), which would mean playing more base defense and less nickel though new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan has said he thinks the future is playing more defensive backs to better defend against that phase of the game. The Falcons face a significant drop-off in talent at cornerback. Among those most likely to play in the nickel is Christopher Owens. Another candidate is Dominique Franks, who was cut on the final day of roster cuts but re-signed last Wednesday to return punts. A third candidate is Robert McClain, who played previously with Jacksonville and Carolina. Grimes signed his one-year tender for more than 10 million this year.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sean Payton explains Saints’ decision to fire orthopedists

Report: LeBron James is '100 percent' leaving the Cavaliers

Could David Blatt replace Jeff Hornacek with the Knicks?

Report: Bulls expected to buy out Wade in next few months

Report: Marlins are willing to talk to teams about Stanton

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jose Fernandez statue may not be built with new Marlins ownership

Porzingis reportedly ‘off limits’ in potential Kyrie Irving trade

NFL rips NFLPA for ‘shameful’ victim blaming in Elliott case

Atlanta Falcons: Moving on from last season’s heartbreak

Joe Thomas says Osweiler has 'it-factor,' expects him to start

AFC North Preview: Steelers have too much talent to lose

The 'Forget Calvin, bring back Jerry' quiz

The top 20 left-handed pitchers of all-time

Box Score 8/16: There is no stopping the Dodgers

The '27 up, 27 down' quiz

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Charles Oakley slams the phone — and his opponents — down

The Cardinals have their season back by the unlikeliest of means

The BIG3 in L.A.: The reverse Danny Almonte comes to Staples Center

Box Score 8/15: Stanton's power surge has no end in sight

Getaway Day: It's an all-inclusive Wild Card party

The 'For Sale this fall: All of the awards' quiz

Sports & Politics Intersect: The Dallas Stars take a stand

BIG3 Week 8: A complicated playoff picture

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Forget Calvin, bring back Jerry' quiz

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Charles Oakley slams the phone — and his opponents — down

The '27 up, 27 down' quiz

The Cardinals have their season back by the unlikeliest of means

The 'For Sale this fall: All of the awards' quiz

The BIG3 in L.A.: The reverse Danny Almonte comes to Staples Center

Getaway Day: It's an all-inclusive Wild Card party

BIG3 Week 8: A complicated playoff picture

Best of Yardbarker: Jay Cutler is back for more

Sports & Politics Intersect: The Dallas Stars take a stand

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker