|Finneran's injury setback could open spot for rookie Robinson|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 15 May 2007 12:13|
Finneran signed a four-year, $8 million contract in March 2006, including $3 million in guaranteed money. Four months later he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and suffered cartilage damage and a slight displacement of the knee cap. He missed the entire season.
Wide receivers coach Hue Jackson said Tuesday the team was waiting on medical tests to determine the severity of the setback.
``Hopefully we'll know more soon,'' Jackson said Tuesday.
Finneran led the team's receivers in 2005 with 60 catches and 611 yards receiving.
The loss of Finneran hurt last season as the Falcons finished last in the NFL in passing. Two former first-round picks - Michael Jenkins and Roddy White - failed to emerge as consistent threats.
New coach Bobby Petrino plans for a more balanced offense this year.
The Falcons signed former New Orleans Saints star Joe Horn, 35, in March and selected Laurent Robinson in the third round of the draft. Another free-agent newcomer, former Georgia star Fred Gibson, signed in February.
Robinson made a strong first impression at the Falcons' mini-camp last week.
Robinson, from Division I-AA Illinois State, doesn't have major college experience, but Jackson said he has NFL talent.
``I think we got this one right,'' Jackson said.
Jackson said there is enough depth at receiver, even if Finneran can't play.
``I haven't had an opportunity to really be around Brian other than us meeting and getting to know him a little bit,'' Jackson said. ``I haven't had the opportunity to work with him on the field and you can't miss what you've never had. I'm not concerned about that but would I love to have him, yes.''
Finneran has played in 86 games with 35 starts for Atlanta. He has 187 career catches for 2,647 yards and 15 touchdowns.