Falcons RB Norwood out for season with knee injury
The Atlanta Falcons placed backup running back Jerious Norwood
on season-ending injured reserve on Tuesday because of a knee
injury, forcing the team to make two moves to add depth.
Norwood was Michael Turner’s top backup before hurting his right
knee on a kickoff return at the start of a 41-7 win over the
Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
The Falcons signed two running backs on Tuesday. Gartrell
Johnson III was added to the active roster, and Shawnbrey McNeal
joined the practice squad.
Johnson had 13 carries for 43 yards in 10 games with the New
York Giants in 2009.
Turner also left Sunday’s game with a groin injury. Falcons
coach Mike Smith said Turner could have returned to the game if
needed. Turner is expected to start this week at New Orleans.
Jason Snelling rushed for 129 yards, caught five passes and
scored three touchdowns while playing behind Turner and Norwood.
Snelling is expected to move up as Turner’s top backup against the
A long series of injuries, including a concussion and hip injury
last year, have limited Norwood.
Norwood missed six games in 2009, when he had a career-low 252
yards rushing in 10 games, including four starts.
”Unfortunately, Jerious has had some bumps and bruises and some
missed time since we’ve been here, but he is a very talented
football player and he’s been a guy that’s contributed to the
success that we’ve had,” Smith said Monday.
”You like the speed of him as a running back and as a
specialist and he’s been able to contribute for us the past two
years. There’s always a sense of frustration anytime you don’t have
your best players out there on the field.”
Through it all, Norwood has retained his positive outlook and
”It’s all a part of football,” Norwood said earlier this year
of his inability to remain healthy. ”You have guys who get hurt
all the time. It’s been pretty frustrating. But being the type of
person I am, I always try to have a positive attitude.”
Norwood was a 2006 third-round draft pick from Mississippi State
who added speed and big-play potential to the Falcons as a running
back and return specialist.
He looked like a future starter when he had 633 yards rushing,
averaging 6.4 yards per carry, as a rookie in 2006. He added 613
yards rushing in 2007 and 489 yards in 2008 – the only season in
which he played in all 16 regular-season games.
Johnson was a fourth-round pick by San Diego in 2009. He was
signed by the Giants on Sept. 15, 2009, after being waived by the
The Falcons lost running back Dimitri Nance off their practice
squad last week when he signed with Green Bay.
Linebacker Bear Woods was released from the practice squad to
clear a spot for McNeal. McNeal was waived by San Diego following
training camp after signing as an undrafted rookie free agent from