Falcons lose first round pick Jerry for the season

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that defensive tackle Peria Jerry, who was the Falcons first round pick in April, will miss the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury in a win over the Panthers on Sunday.

This might not sound like a significant loss given that Jerry was a rookie and defensive tackles are rarely in the limelight, but this is a blow to the Falcons’ defensive line. Jerry was quickly emerging as a solid interior pass-rusher and offered a nice complement to John Abraham and Jonathan Babineaux on Atlanta’s D-line.

The Falcons rotate their defensive linemen on game days, so Trey Lewis, Thomas Johnson and Vance Walker will all see playing time at the tackle position next to Babineaux. Unfortunately, none of the three provide the pass rush that Jerry does, although maybe the big-bodied Lewis (who was impressive as a rookie in 2007 before a knee injury sidelined him for the entire ’08 season) can help the Falcons fix a leaky run-defense that is allowing 5.1 YPC.

This is a bad time for the Falcons to lose a pass rusher with a trip to New England and a pissed-off Patriots team on the docket.

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