Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett out for season with knee injury


ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett is out for the season with a knee injury, coach Arthur Smith said Monday.

The 30-year-old Jarrett tore an ACL during the early minutes of a 28-23 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

A two-time Pro Bowler, Jarrett has started every game for the Falcons since 2018 and was the undisputed leader of a defense that underwent a major overhaul this season. His injury leaves a huge gap in the middle of the line.

Jarrett was having another productive season with 23 tackles, 1 1/2 sacks, eight quarterback hits and two passes broken up.

The Falcons do appear better equipped at dealing with Jarrett's loss than they would have in previous seasons after spending heavily in free agency during the offseason.

Linemen such as David Onyemata should help cushion the loss, though no one is capable of fully replacing Jarrett's dominating presence.

A fifth-round pick out of Clemson in 2015, Jarrett became a full-time starter during the Falcons' run to the Super Bowl during his second season. He had three sacks of New England's Tom Brady in the title game, but his performance was overshadowed by the Patriots rallying from a 28-3 deficit to win in overtime.

After a season of good fortune, the injury bug finally caught up with the Falcons at Tennessee.

Wide receiver Drake London (groin), fullback Keith Smith (concussion), defensive lineman LaCale London (knee) and cornerback Mike Hughes (concussion) also were hurt against the Titans.

Tied for first in the NFC South, the Falcons (4-4) host the Minnesota Vikings (4-4) next Sunday.