First, the good news: Corey Peters' knee injury, suffered during practice on Sunday, will thankfully not require surgery. The defensive tackle is currently listed as day-to-day, and is expected to sit out of Saturday's preseason game against Jacksonville. With the Falcons expecting him to be a major contributor to the team's defensive tackle rotation, the reports that he won't miss much time at all are a best-case scenario.
In his stead, Peria Jerry is slated to get the nominal start opposite of Jonathan Babineaux against the Jaguars. While both Jerry and Peters will likely get major playing time this season, this is a chance for the former first-round pick to show everyone if he's finally healthy and capable of getting the pass-rushing penetration he was known for at Ole Miss.
Mike Smith believes that, given Jerry's limited playing time last season, the D-tackle was very productive in 2010:
"If you take the average number of snaps and compare it (to what he did), he was a very productive player last year. The trait that he has that a lot of guys don't is that he's very explosive."
Clearly the Falcons have been bringing Peria along very slowly since his injury, but now we're almost to the point where we'll see Jerry on the field full-time, unconstrained and ready to wreak havoc on the NFL. As I've said before, I'm betting we see a really big year out of Mr. Jerry. Either that, or perhaps Thomas Dimitroff will see the first real blemish on his GM career in Atlanta.
For more on the Falcons, check out The Falcoholic.