Ain't no Sunshine when he's gone.
Kerry Meier will miss the season, becoming the latest rookie injury to befall our beloved birds. Last year, Peria Jerry and William Moore each missed most of the season in 2009, and now we've lost arguably the most likely rook to have an impact on the 2010 Falcons besides one Sean Weatherspoon. It's tough.
One could make a very reasonable argument that our sky high hopes for Meier were a bit unrealistic. Certainly, there would have been times during the season where we would have to dial them down. Fifth round rookie receivers just don't come in and make a huge impact all that often. More than likely, he would've provided some value on special teams and maybe 20 catches.
Without him, though, our depth at receiver is pretty gruesome.
Let's assume right off the bat that Roddy White, Michael Jenkins and Harry Douglas are our top three receivers, in that order. I think that's a perfectly reasonable assumption, and certainly that's not horrible. White is a stud, Douglas has a lot of promise and we'll get to Jenkins later.
Beyond that, though, you really have to cringe. Eric Weems is really more of a special teams ace than a receiver, though he flashed enough in very limited chances last year that I think he could be a decent backup. Brian Finneran is aging, oft-injured and slow, though his hands are still rock solid. Brandyn Harvey, Ryan Wolfe, et al are extremely unproven. I'm doubting at this point in time that any of them are going to force Finneran or Weems off the roster, but one could stick around if the Falcons go extreme depth and keep six receivers.
I generally advocate for making do with what you've got, but there's likely to be a glut of receivers released by the end of pre-season that I think we might want to take a look at. Meier's college teammate, Dezmon Briscoe, almost certainly won't make the deep Bengals at receiver, and might be worth a look. Torry Holt, who is aging fast but still has some of the skills that made him famous, is out there on the waiver wire. There are certainly options aside from Marty Booker that would fit the bill.
In the final analysis, losing Meier hurts our depth, and chances are good the Falcons will look elsewhere for some help. We'll all miss Sunshine, one way or the other. Here's hoping he's ready to go in 2011.