Falcons make moves to replace Norwood

The Atlanta Falcons just announced they have placed running back Jerious Norwood on the injured-reserve list after he suffered a major knee injury in Sunday’s victory against Arizona.

Although Norwood and starter Michael Turner both were injured in the victory, the Falcons were able to get by with Jason Snelling carrying 24 times for 129 yards and scoring three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving). Turner was cleared to return in the second half of the game and the team has said his groin injury was minor.

Turner should be fine for Sunday’s game at New Orleans, but the Falcons aren’t wasting any time shoring up their backfield Tuesday. They just signed Gartrell Johnson III to the active roster.

They also signed running back Shawnbrey McNeal to the practice squad and released linebacker Bear Woods from the practice squad.

While Turner and Snelling fit the power-back mold, Johnson is viewed as more of a speed back, like Norwood. A fourth-round pick by San Diego in 2009, Johnson was released by the Chargers last September. He then signed with the New York Giants and played a minor role, getting only 13 carries for 43 yards in 10 games. A Colorado State product, Johnson ran for 1,476 yards and 12 touchdowns in his final college season.

McNeal came out of Southern Methodist University and went undrafted this year. He spent training camp with San Diego, but was released by the Chargers before the start of the season.