Head coach Mike Smith's first day-after press conference of 2012 was expected to be a happy one after the Falcons handled business in Kansas City with a 40-24 win over the Chiefs.
Instead, Smith started out with some bad news: Cornerback Brent Grimes is lost for the season with an Achilles injury that will require surgery.
"This morning, Brent Grimes had an MRI and it indicated that he has an Achilles tendon injury and he will be placed on the reserve-injured list this afternoon," Smith said Monday.
Smith said he and the coaching staff will set about to figure out what the new nickel package will be, but Asante Samuel will slide into Grimes' starting spot on the left side.
Chris Owens and Dominique Franks, who was signed back to the roster after being cut after the preseason, are the likely candidates to earn the open nickel spot — an extremely important spot on Mike Nolan's defensive unit.
"Brent's made a number of plays. Since he's been here, he's been a cornerstone at the corner position, both left and right," Smith said. "It's the next-man-up mentality, and that's how you have to approach it. We've got a number of guys that have play time on our roster right now, and it's something we'll, as a coaching staff, put together what we feel like is the best plan in terms of how we'll configure our nickel package."