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Falcons' Jerry down with apparent knee injury

By Ken Sugiura

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Falcons first-round pick Peria Jerry missed time in minicamp with a right knee injury. He left the season opener with a chest injury.

The defensive tackle from Ole Miss was hurt again Sunday, and this time it may be more serious.

After a Carolina pass play in the fourth quarter, Jerry lay on the ground for several minutes before being helped to the sideline with an apparent injury to his left knee. Soon after, Jerry was assisted onto a cart and taken off the field.

“I was on the sideline when I saw him go down,” said backup defensive tackle Thomas Johnson. “I ran out because I knew I had to go in [place of Jerry]. I just took a knee and prayed for him.”

At the postgame press conference, coach Mike Smith said he had not yet been apprised of Jerry’s status and would have an update Wednesday. Contacted after the end of the game, Jerry’s agent Bus Cook said he did not know the severity of the injury.

“He was doing a good job [against Carolina],” defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux said. “Every time he gets in there, his object is to get better, and I think he’s been doing that week to week.”

Jerry, the 24th overall pick in the draft, had trouble with injuries at Ole Miss, missing time because of injuries to his foot, hand, ankle and knee. Before the 2008 season, he had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, the same knee he sprained in minicamp. He also missed the NFL draft combine with a sore groin.

The Falcons have been using Jerry, Babineaux and Johnson in rotation at defensive tackle, with some snaps from Chauncey Davis. If Jerry misses time, it would likely mean some playing time for Trey Lewis, who is on the 53-man roster but has not been on the 45-man game-day roster for the first two games. Lewis played nine games as a rookie in 2007, starting five, but missed all of last season with a knee injury suffered in the offseason.

Also, defensive tackle Vance Walker, the seventh-round draft pick from Georgia Tech, is on the practice squad.

Thomas Johnson made the Falcons in training camp after not having played an NFL game since 2006. On several occasions, the Panthers double-teamed him on Sunday.

“Can’t do anything but be ready,” said Johnson, who would likely move into the starting lineup if Jerry is absent. “That’s what training camp’s for, to get yourself prepared for this kind of situation. If you’re a backup player, they expect you, if somebody goes down, for you to be ready. I think I’m ready.”

Sux. I hope he and Walker are both ready, then.

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We already know he has a knee injury.

You're an idiot. It says nothing of how serious it is. You just told us nothing.

And how did we KNOW this? It could have been his ankle, for all I saw on the TV.

Man, a guy actually links to a legit story (albeit missing the info. you may have wanted to hear) and you kick his balls. Armystrong reports a rumour and you kick his balls. Ya'll all been watchin' too much Harvey Dahl today.... :P

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And how did we KNOW this? It could have been his ankle, for all I saw on the TV.

Man, a guy actually links to a legit story (albeit missing the info. you may have wanted to hear) and you kick his balls. Armystrong reports a rumour and you kick his balls. Ya'll all been watchin' too much Harvey Dahl today.... :P

It was pretty apparent it was a knee injury. You'd have to be blind not to see it.

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back in the old days, we (interior) linemen wore knee braces to keep our knees from bending laterally and hyper-extending. While they weren't perfect, I'm sure the technology has increased considerably since then. I noticed that Jerry didn't wear any at all. Why would someone who has a history of being in the sick bay not wear them? Just doesn't make sense.

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And how did we KNOW this? It could have been his ankle, for all I saw on the TV.

Man, a guy actually links to a legit story (albeit missing the info. you may have wanted to hear) and you kick his balls. Armystrong reports a rumour and you kick his balls. Ya'll all been watchin' too much Harvey Dahl Glenn Beck today.... :P

Fixed.

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