FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Grady Jarrett has suffered a season-ending knee injury, according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter. Jarrett reportedly tore his ACL in the Falcons' loss to the Titans at Nissan Stadium this Sunday.
Head coach Arthur Smith confirmed the report on Monday afternoon, saying Jarrett is out for the season.
"To lose a guy like Grady, who's such a great leader for us, a great player... it's unfortunate, and it's not going to take just one person to (replace him)," Smith said. "We'll continue to problem solve and we'll continue to evaluate that, but I hate it for Grady, first and foremost."
Jarrett is the heart, soul and undisputed leader of the Falcons defense, and has been since being drafted by the Falcons in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. The two-time Pro Bowler has been one of the league's best interior defensive linemen for years. He was en route to another productive year prior to the injury.
Jarrett's season ends having made eight starts, recording 1.5 sacks, eight quarterback hits, two passes deflected and 23 combined tackles (two for a loss).
The loss of Jarrett is a heavy blow to the Falcons, but its not as detrimental as it would have been in recent years. With the resources the Falcons have pumped into this 2023 defense, they do have depth across their defensive line. Obviously, there's no replacing the impact Jarrett has on the field, and the attention he garners from opposing offensive coordinators and linemen. Having players like David Onyemata, Calais Campbell and Bud Dupree helps cushion a blow that would have been a knockout in the last two years.
The Falcons face the Minnesota Vikings at home in Week 9. It'll be the first time the team is without Jarrett in a significant capacity since he became an Atlanta Falcon nine seasons ago.