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Finneran has setback...

Postby mrblitz » Tue May 15, 2007 2:29 pm

Updated: May 14, 2007, 9:16 PM ET
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ATLANTA -- In what will be a significant setback to the Atlanta Falcons' hopes for upgrading their passing game in 2007, wide receiver Brian Finneran has re-injured the left knee which sidelined him for all of 2006, and likely will miss a second straight season.



Finneran
Finneran will undergo medical testing to determine the extent of the damage, but sources told ESPN.com on Monday evening that the initial indication is that Finneran again tore the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee.

If further examination confirms that suspicion, the injury, the second ACL tear in less than 10 months, almost certainly will be season-ending and could also threaten Finneran's career.

The seven-year veteran initially tore the anterior cruciate ligament early in training camp last July in a non-contact incident in which he was simply making a cut. His absence from the offense contributed to the fact that the Falcons finished last in the NFL in passing offense.

The latest injury occurred on Saturday during the team's weekend minicamp as Finneran was continuing his rehabilitation with some light running. Finneran did not participate in any of the on-field activities at the minicamp and worked mostly on his own. There was no definitive timetable for his return from the initial injury, but the prognosis was that Finneran probably would have been ready for the start of camp.

Finneran, 31, is expected to seek a second opinion on the latest injury and the results might not be available for several days. Not until further tests are concluded will Finneran and the team plot a course of action.

Arguably the wide receiver that quarterback Michael Vick trusted most, and his second-favorite target to four-time Pro Bowl tight end Alge Crumpler, Finneran is a possession-type receiver who is particularly effective on third down. His long frame, at 6-feet-5, 217 pounds, presents a big target, and he is fearless in going over the middle.

When he went down with the knee injury last July, the Falcons' passing game never really recovered. Former first-round picks Michael Jenkins (2004) and Roddy White (2005) were unable to pick up the slack and the Falcons were forced to trade for Ashley Lelie before the start of the season.

This offseason, the Falcons signed 11-year veteran Joe Horn, released by New Orleans early in the spring, and hope he will provide leadership on and off the field. Second-year veteran Adam Jennings, a sixth-round pick who played sparingly as a rookie in 2006, has enjoyed a solid spring. The coaches also have been impressed with rookie Laurent Robinson of Illinois State, a third-round choice in this year's draft.

Still, as last season demonstrated, replacing Finneran is a difficult task.

In 86 games, with 35 starts, Finneran has 187 receptions for 2,647 yards and 15 touchdowns. His best season was in 2002, when he started in all 16 games and registered 56 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns.

The former Villanova standout entered the NFL with Seattle as an undrafted free agent in 1998. He was released by the Seahawks, signed with Philadelphia in 1999, and then joined the Falcons late that season.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
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Postby sublimeandy » Tue May 15, 2007 9:48 pm

who cares about falcons wr's? i was looking at my top 50 wr's today and noticed that i didn't have a falcon until joe horn at 40ish. pretty amazing considering vick(assuming he's not in jail) is a top 10 qb.

could you imagine vick ends up in jail for this crap and the falcon's had traded away schaub...that would be amusing. his trial would never be over by the beginning of the season regardless though.
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Postby mystykoekaki » Tue May 15, 2007 10:53 pm

sublimeandy wrote:who cares about falcons wr's? i was looking at my top 50 wr's today and noticed that i didn't have a falcon until joe horn at 40ish. pretty amazing considering vick(assuming he's not in jail) is a top 10 qb.

could you imagine vick ends up in jail for this crap and the falcon's had traded away schaub...that would be amusing. his trial would never be over by the beginning of the season regardless though.


Vick is mainly a top 10 QB because of his run yardage and rushing touchdowns. But yeah I agree with you, Falcons WRs are not to be messed with; making Crumpler the only viable option.
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Postby Atog » Tue May 15, 2007 11:01 pm

Since when is a career-ending injury a "setback"?
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Postby Dr. Duran Duran » Wed May 16, 2007 12:50 am

Atog wrote:Since when is a career-ending injury a "setback"?


Minor understatement. I suppose it's the equivalent of calling Lawrence Phillips a disappointment.
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Postby Atog » Wed May 16, 2007 7:12 am

Dr. Duran Duran wrote:
Atog wrote:Since when is a career-ending injury a "setback"?


Minor understatement. I suppose it's the equivalent of calling Lawrence Phillips a disappointment.


Or the Detroit Lions a professional sports franchise.
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Postby deerayfan072 » Wed May 16, 2007 7:50 am

I agree with Atog, Finneran is done
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Re: Finneran has setback...

Postby stomperrob » Fri Jun 22, 2007 12:13 pm

Update:

Finneran out after a second surgery
Re-injury of knee could end career

By STEVE WYCHE
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 06/22/07


Flowery Branch — Falcons wide receiver Brian Finneran had reconstructive knee surgery late last week that could end his career — and help someone else.

Finneran's second major operation to his left knee in less than a year will sideline him for the second consecutive season. The injury creates a void expected to be filled by one of the team's young players.

Rookie Laurent Robinson, Georgia product Fred Gibson and second-year player Adam Jennings will compete for Finneran's roster spot. Where they might fall in the pecking order — should they make the team — is far from determined.

"It affects our competition a little bit," coach Bobby Petrino said of the loss of Finneran. "It would have been another guy in there that competed and lifted everybody else up. His experience, we lose a lot there. You have injuries and you've got to move on and keep going. It's tough on the guy who gets hurt, and it's tough on the coaches who have feelings for him, but we've got to keep going and keep playing."

Had Finneran remained healthy, he would have been in a battle for his job. Petrino and his staff have been trying to find players that fit the new schemes they've implemented since taking over in January.

"Obviously, I am disappointed," Finneran, 31, said in a statement released by the Falcons. "I was looking forward to getting back on the field this season in hopes of helping my team return to the playoffs. After consulting with some of the leading knee injury experts in the country, I decided to have the surgery.

"I plan on attacking the rehabilitation process with all that I have, and look forward to getting back on the field."

Finneran made it to the NFL as an undrafted free agent, played for eight seasons and became one of quarterback Michael Vick's most trusted targets.

In 2005, the last time the 6-foot-5 Finneran played, he had 50 receptions for 611 yards and two touchdowns — his second-best season totals. He has 187 career catches for 2,647 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Petrino said Finneran's projected rehabilitation time is 9-12 months. Finneran had spent more than six months rehabilitating torn ligaments and other damage in the same knee before re-injuring the joint doing light running drills at a May mini-camp.

The team did not disclose the exact nature of the recent injury. The official word of Finneran's surgery only came after weeks of speculation that his injury was serious and potentially season-ending. During that time, the Falcons have practiced as if he would not be around, at least through training camp.

Robinson, a third-round selection from Illinois State, and Gibson, a 2005 fourth-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers who has been on the Miami Dolphins' practice squad the past two seasons, have thrust themselves into the mix at a position where the Falcons are seeking consistency and production.

Both are long, speedy and tall (Gibson, 6-4; Robinson 6-2) and have consistently caught the ball in traffic and on deep routes in non-contact drills. Jennings, meanwhile, has drawn attention with his relentless style, which offsets his lack of stature (5-9, 181).

Though Robinson, Gibson and Jennings seemingly are competing for two, if not the final three wide receiver spots, offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said nobody, even veterans Joe Horn, Roddy White or Michael Jenkins, is assured of a role in the rotation.

"I don't know of a spot that's not open," Jackson said. "Here, you're going to earn what you get. I don't know that we have a spot that we can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that 'This guy's playing this.' We have some guys we feel should be the guys.

"We have to wait until training camp to see who can handle the grind. All this other stuff has been nice and good, but we're not playing for something right now. This was just dress rehearsal."

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