Finneran to Miss Rest of the Season
Finneran to miss rest of season
FLOWERY BRANCH --- Falcons wide receiver Brian Finneran suffered another knee injury Sunday and will be placed on injured reserve.
Finneran, who tore the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, will miss the rest of the season. The injury is not considered career-threatening and should heal without surgery, according to coach Mike Smith.
Troy Bergeron, a wide receiver on the practice squad, will likely take Finneran's place on the roster.
"Brian has been a staple around this team for a long time," Smith said. "He's one of the guys that I respect a whole lot, the way that he plays the game."
Finnernan missed two seasons after surgeries on his right knee. He came back to play in all 17 games last season. This year, he had 10 catches for 97 yards and also contributed on special teams.
Earlier this season, Finneran was named the team's nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. The award recognizes a player's off-the-field community service. Each team nominates one player and the winner will be selected by a panel and recognized on the field before Super Bowl XLIV in Miami.
"It's very tough, really because Brian is not only a good football player, but he's a great man," Smith said. "He does some great things in this community. He's a family man."
Ohio Valley reunion
Smith and New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, who the Falcons face Sunday, worked together in Baltimore for four seasons. Ryan was a candidate for the Falcons' vacancy when Smith got the job. But their ties run even deeper.
"Rex, his brother Rob and I were all three defensive coordinators at the same time in the Ohio Valley Conference," Smith said. "Rex was at Morehead State. I was at Tennessee Tech and Rob was at Tennessee State. We kid and joke that the OVC is the 'Cradle of Coaches.'"
Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh was also in the OVC at the time as the offensive coordinator at Morehead State.
The call on Grimes
Smith would not say if the team would send game film to the league office to get a clarification on the second pass interference call on Brent Grimes in the third quarter against New Orleans.
Grimes intercepted the ball on the play. But instead of losing the ball, the Saints retained possession, were granted a first down and scored a touchdown three plays later for a 23-9 lead.
"If there is a call that we want to get clarified through the league, we'll send it in and get a response back from the officiating department," Smith said.
New Orleans elected to double-cover tight end Tony Gonzalez and roll their coverage to Roddy White's side. That left Michael Jenkins primarily in man coverage. He made three catches for 82 yards and just missed another long gainer on a first-half pass from Chris Redman.
"He just missed that one," White said. "Other than that, he was doing his thing beating their coverages' back side. Teams are going to have things like that and see what works. If we struggle against it, they are going to use it."
Rookie linebacker Spencer Adkins, a sixth-round pick from Miami, was active for just the second game this season on Sunday.
He had a big special-teams tackle on the kickoff return after the Falcons tied the score 23-23.
"It's been a learning process," Adkins said. "Every day I learn and get better."
Adkins has spent most of his practice time at strongside linebacker.
"But coach informs me daily that I need to learn both outside positions," Adkins said.
The former Hurricane hasn't seen all of ESPN's documentary on "The U."
"I caught the tail end of it, but I recorded it," Adkins said. "When I go home today, I'm going to watch the whole thing."
Redman, who had five passes batted down over his past two games, didn't have one knocked down against the Saints.
White and New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis have the same agent and hung out together last season at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii.
"We chopped it up and things like that," White said.
Defensive end John Abraham will be playing his first game against his former team. He played for the Jets from 2000-05.