Biermann tore his right Achilles tendon and Ewing separated his left shoulder in Sunday’s 31-24 win over the St. Louis Rams. Coach Mike Smith said Monday each will be placed on the reserve injured list.
“As I say many times, one man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity and we’ve got some guys that we expect are going to step up and make some plays for us,” Smith said.
The loss of Biermann will lead to expanded roles for defensive ends Jonathan Massaquoi and rookie Malliciah Goodman. The versatile Biermann also played a linebacker position which had him dropping back in pass coverage.
“There’s a role for a (backup) defensive end when Kroy was playing defensive end and there’s a role for one of the (backup) linebackers,” Smith said. “We’ve put that in place from the very beginning.”
Biermann was credited with two tackles before leaving the field on a cart late in the first half.
Biermann, a fifth-round pick in 2008, has 16 ½ career sacks, including 4 in 2012. Osi Umenyiora, an offseason free-agent signee from the Giants, is the team’s other starting defensive end.
Ewing’s injury will lead to more playing time for Jason Snelling, who ran for a touchdown against the Rams after starting running back Steven Jackson left the game with a thigh injury. Snelling has played fullback and running back in his seven seasons with the Falcons.
Ewing did not have a carry but had one catch for 14 yards before hurting his shoulder in the first quarter.
This is the second straight year Ewing has suffered a season-ending injury. His tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee before his 2012 rookie season.
Smith said he met with Ewing on Monday morning.
“It’s tough because he’s not been able to stay on the field,” Smith said. “He’s had the knee injury last year and it ended with him going on reserve injured early.”