NFL notebook: Falcons lose pair of starters for season

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — The Atlanta Falcons were looking for two new starters on Monday after losing defensive end Kroy Biermann and fullback Bradie Ewing to season-ending injuries.

Biermann tore his right Achilles tendon, and Ewing separated his left shoulder in Sunday’s 31-24 win over St. Louis. Coach Mike Smith said each will be placed on the reserve injured list.

The loss of Biermann will lead to expanded roles for defensive ends Jonathan Massaquoi and rookie Malliciah Goodman. The versatile Biermann also played linebacker, which had him dropping back in pass coverage.

Biermann, a fifth-round pick in 2008, has 16½ career sacks, including four in 2012.

Ewing’s injury will lead to more playing time for Jason Snelling, who ran for a touchdown against the Rams after running back Steven Jackson left with a thigh injury.


CAROLINA LOSES SAFETY: Panthers starting free safety Charles Godfrey is out for the rest of the season with a torn right Achilles tendon.

Godfrey, a six-year-starter for the Panthers, suffered the injury during the second half of Carolina’s 24-23 loss to Buffalo on Sunday while breaking up a pass to Bills receiver Stevie Johnson.


NO WORD ON LACY: Green Bay will know more about the status of running back Eddie Lacy (Dutchtown High) on Wednesday, coach Mike McCarthy said.

Lacy left Sunday’s game against Washington with a concussion after his first carry following what appeared to be a helmet-to-helmet hit from Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather.


TESTS ON BUSH ‘ENCOURAGING’: Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz said tests on Reggie Bush’s left knee were “encouraging,” and his ailment isn’t a long-term injury.

Bush took a helmet to his left knee in the first half Sunday at Arizona and played only briefly in the third quarter.


JONES-DREW MAY NOT MISS TIME: Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew has a tendon strain in his left foot, and the Jaguars hope he won’t miss any games.

Coach Gus Bradley said Jones-Drew will undergo an MRI and may sit out practice this week as a precaution. But he’s encouraged that Jones-Drew could be ready to play Sunday in Seattle.

Manning Bowl

A RATINGS HIT: The latest meeting between the Manning brothers drew a big television audience.

CBS’s national game Sunday, highlighted by Denver’s win over the New York Giants, earned a 17.8 overnight rating and 34 share. The network said it was the highest preliminary rating for its first national game of the season since CBS reacquired NFL rights in 1998.

Around the league

Ravens coach John Harbaugh reiterated that the team doesn’t believe Pro Bowl running bay Ray Rice suffered a significant hip injury, and he didn’t rule him out of Sunday’s game against the Texans. ... Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung is unlikely to play Sunday against Jacksonville after suffering a toe injury against San Francisco. ... San Francisco nose tackle Ian Williams is expected to be sidelined for the rest of the season with a broken left ankle. ... Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden’s sprained right thumb could keep him out of this week’s game at Minnesota.