Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux is expected to miss 3-to-5 weeks with a partially torn MCL in his knee, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
“The MCL, all the guys that I’ve ever had have come back,” Babineaux’s agent, Jack Bechta, said. “If there is any issue with uncomfortableness they go in and get it cleaned up after the season.”
Over the first six years of his career, the 6-foot-2, 298-pound ’05 second rounder from Iowa has missed just two games due to injury. Babineaux was suspended for the 2010 season-opener, but started the rest of the season and registered 27 stops, four quarterback sacks and the first pick of his pro tenure.
A three-week recovery time would mean the former Hawkeye would miss games with Eagles, NFC south rival Buccaneers and Seahawks. A five-week recovery would add games with the defending Super Bowl champion Packers and Cam Newton-powered Panthers.
Second-year defensive tackle Corey Peters returning from a knee injury this week would aid the Falcons in lieu of the absence of the Iowa alum, who has 18 career sacks during his career suiting up on Sundays.