Falcons lose first-rounder Jerry for the season

Knowing they needed a lot of help, the Falcons front office used seven of their eight draft picks this year to shore up their defense.

On Monday, the team learned that they will be without the centerpiece of their class — first-round  defensive tackle Peria Jerry — for the rest of the season.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Jerry underwent an MRI on his knee Monday, and clearly the results were not favorable.

Jerry came to the NFL with a reputation for being injury prone, and unfortunately has lived up to his rep.  He started both games for Atlanta this season.

The Falcons could be vulnerable to the run after the loss.  They face a team in Foxborough this Sunday that has been hesitant to try running the ball early in the year.

UPDATE: The team signed defensive tackle Vance Walker to the active roster.

11 responses to “Falcons lose first-rounder Jerry for the season

  1. many Lions fans were rooting for them to take Jerry with the second first-rounder (the pick that was used on Brandon Pettigrew). It’s ironic, because he’d be a perfect fit for outgoing coach Rod Marinelli: undersized, maxxed-out frame, a very high work ethic, and questionable upside.
    While it’s ridiculous to speculate on whether or not Jerry’d have been injured if drafted by the Lions, I think it’s clear that Mayhew, Schwartz & Co. could not have “fixed” the worst defense ever assembled by drafting Peria Jerry.
    Ty @ The Lions in Winter

  2. Sure glad the Lions did not take this guy. The Lions have a history of taking undersized, injury prone guys who never pan out despite initial upside. Recent examples: Boss Baily, Kevin Jones, Brian Calhoun, Drew Stanton, among others…

  3. DT’s Trey Lewis & Vance Walker should be able to fill in adequately. If not, make the trade for Jacksonville’s John Henderson. He’s old and highly paid and had a down year last season but a reunion with coach Mike Smith could be a good thing. What size ring does John Henderson wear??? >>>>>>>>>

  4. That’s unfortunate. I loved that guy just because he wears his name backwards, and he’s done already.

  5. DT Thomas Johnson will start in place of Peria Jerry. Here’s a little bedtime reading, via cut & paste:
    Moving forward immediately means that Thomas Johnson will take over Jerry’s spot, Mike Smith said. Johnson, 6-foot-2, 304 pounds, played two games for Dallas in his rookie year of 2005 and then 11, including three as a starter, for Houston in 2006.
    Until this season, he had not played in a regular season game since then, as he had been cut by the Texans after their 2007 training camp and the New York Jets after their 2008 camp.
    During those seasons out of football, Johnson worked out in case a call came and even spent four months teaching ninth-grade physical education in his native Memphis.
    He called the opportunity to return to the NFL “a blessing.”
    During training camp, he impressed early in the first preseason game with a sack inside the 10-yard-line that forced Detroit into a field goal. He had one assist on Sunday against Carolina and one solo tackle against Miami in the opener.
    “At that position, everyone’s always looking for defensive linemen,” General Manager Thomas Dimitroff told AtlantaFalcons.com about Johnson in August. “We always are. And I think in this situation our personnel staff [was] being diligent about scanning the names and us getting him in there having the idea that he would fit into our scheme. Most important is the fact that he rose to the occasion and showed that he had something to prove.”
    Dimitroff said Johnson’s strengths are “a nice combination of quickness and explosion with the ability to show a real strong lateral leverage.”
    Johnson, who weighs about 10 pounds more than Jerry, said Jerry’s pass rush from the interior line will be missed.
    “It’s a blow ‘cause Peria brings something different than I bring to the team,” he said. “He brings quickness and pass rush ability and speed. I’m more of a kind of power guy. It’s going to hurt us but we have other guys who can fill in and take over.”
    But wait, there’s more!:
    To get that inside pass rush, the Falcons may play defensive end Chauncey Davis more at tackle. Davis, 262 pounds, plays both end and tackle and in obvious passing situations he has played tackle in a group with Kroy Biermann and John Abraham at the ends and Babineaux as the other tackle.
    Davis said he had not yet spoken to coaches if he will play more inside.
    “We just have to deal with it and keep moving on and other guys are going to have to step up to take part in our defense,” he said.
    In the Falcons’ first two games, the defensive line has been one of the defense’s strengths, as it recorded four sacks in Week 1. Now its depth will be tested and if Walker is to contribute, he’ll have to learn the ropes quickly.
    “Vance, I think he brings a lot of power, strength and size on the d-line,” Johnson said. “I know he’s excited, I just got done talking to him. I’m excited for him.”
    courtesy of atlantafalcons.com

  6. The Patriots are almost sure to come out running hard this week. With an unsure Brady, and teams keying heavily on the Patriots pass attack, I think they will get back to at least a balanced run attack.

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