After seeing six starters leave Sunday's win over the St. Louis Rams, an announcement on roster moves should have been expected on Monday during Falcons head coach Mike Smith's press conference.
If you expected it, it turns out you were right.
Smith said two of the injuries from Sunday's game will be season-ending. Defensive end/linebacker Kroy Biermann will be placed on injured reserve with a torn Achilles tendon and fullback Bradie Ewing will follow the same designation with a separated shoulder.
The players that stepped in during these injuries played well and Smith said he anticipates the backups will continue to make the most of their extra time, just as they did in the Week 2 win. Jonathan Massaquoi and Malliciah Goodman filled in for Biermann at defensive end and in the linebacker role the six-year veteran Biermann played, rookie Joplo Bartu stepped in.
All of the young players' snaps increased and Bartu in particular had a strong game. In his first extended action of the regular season, he finished with six tackles, two for loss, and a quarterback hit. Smith said the backups at both defensive end and linebacker would all be used to fill Biermann's variety of roles.
"The backup is going to have to step up and make the plays that we anticipate they're capable of making. There's a role for a defensive end when Kroy was playing defensive end and there's a role for one of the linebackers when he was playing linebacker. We've put that into place from the very beginning."
Monday's news is especially tough for Ewing, a fullback entering his second season. Last year his season ended in training camp and Smith said he has already spoken with his young fullback about beginning his preparation for next season.
"I had a conversation with Bradie here in the late morning," Smith said. "It's tough. He's not been able to stay on the field. ... As I told him, 'We've just got to get you healthy and March, April will roll around and we'll reconnect and get going moving forward.' "
Smith didn't address any of the other injuries from Sunday's game. More details on those week-to-week injuries will be disclosed when the injury reports for Week 3 begin coming out following Wednesday's practice.