Falcons safety Ricardo Allen suffered a torn Achilles and is out for the season.
The team announced the extent of the injury Monday morning. It was first reported by ESPN.com Monday.
Allen, who signed a three-year $19.5 million contract extension over the offseason, was injured in overtime of the 43-37 loss to the Saints Sunday. It didn’t look promising at the time. Allen, 26, was helped off the field and then taken to a medical help on a cart. Allen’s injury was announced by the Falcons as a calf injury, but appeared to be a foot or Achilles injury.
He was despondent according to sideline observers.
The Falcons defense was already playing without strong safety Keanu Neal (lost for season with knee surgery), linebacker Deion Jones (broken foot), defensive end Takk McKinley (groin) and defensive end Derrick Shelby (groin). Starting offensive lineman Andy Levitre (torn triceps) is also out for the season.
If Allen, who’s considered the quarterback of the defense, is lost for an extended period of time, the defense may not recover.
“We don't know enough yet,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Sunday. “We knew that. That's what I was told then. We'll go and see him now. I don't want to speculate too much, but it was serious enough that he was down for the game.”
Getting defensive help was on the team’s mind after this game.
“Yes, (general manager) Thomas (Dimitroff) and I discussed that, and we'll continue to discuss that afterward,” Quinn said. “We have some other guys with some versatility that we'll try to plug around. We'll see what the length of the injuries are. That would certainly make a difference if we went outside to look for somebody else. If it's shorter term, then likely we'd stay inside.”
Eric Reid, Tyvon Branch and Mike Mitchell are the veteran free agent safeties available.