The Atlanta Falcons have been a remarkably healthy football team over the last few years, but luck turns on a dime. Now comes the news that Kroy Biermann and Bradie Ewing are both on injured reserve. It's devastating news.
Coach Smith: Kroy Biermann has a torn achilles. Bradie Ewing has a separated shoulder. Both will go on injured reserved.— Atlanta_Falcons (@Atlanta_Falcons) September 16, 2013
Smith: "Ewing and Biermann will be unable to come off IR." Both out for the year. @790TheZone— 790 The Zone (@790TheZone) September 16, 2013
The rumors were correct: Ewing suffered a broken shoulder and Biermann tore his Achilles in the 31-24 win over the Rams. With both out for the year, the Falcons have lost two solid starters, and will have to dig into their depth going forward.
Losing Ewing is tough, but the Falcons went without him last year and will do so again. Jason Snelling will be in line for some snaps at fullback, but the Falcons seem likely to sign a full-time FB in the coming days to take his roster spot. At this point, I feel worse for Ewing, who has suffered two catastrophic injuries in his first two years in the league.
Biermann is a big loss. He hasn't been stellar this year, necessarily, but he's remarkably solid and was taking snaps at both linebacker and defensive end. Losing him hurts at both positions, and it forces the Falcons to get contributions from young players we all must fervently hope are ready. The Duff Man was good for a couple of sacks, solid run-stopping and even quality special teams play, so it's a true domino effect to lose him.
Look for Jonathan Massaquoi to get the start against the Dolphins. Again, the Falcons may add a defensive end, but I wouldn't be stunned if they opted for additional depth at linebacker and went with Mass, Malliciah Goodman and Stansly Maponga. There's clear talent there, and if Goodman can keep up his decent run-stopping and Mass can effectively rush the passer, they can make this work.
Bottom line: This hurts. Look for the Falcons to add a couple of free agents in the coming days. We'll keep you posted.
I wish both of them well on the road to recovery and hope to see them healthy and ready to go for 2014. What do you think the Falcons will do to mitigate these losses?