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Backup safety is done for season

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Atlanta Falcons placed Keion
Carpenter on injured reserve Thursday, meaning the backup free
safety will miss the entire season.

Carpenter, in his third year with the Falcons, tore his anterior
cruciate ligament during a workout last week. He had knee surgery
Tuesday performed by Dr. James Andrews.

Carpenter struggled last season along with the rest of Atlanta's
pass defense. The Falcons allowed a franchise-record 6,108 total
yards and ranked last in the NFL against the pass.

After losing his starting job midway through last year,
Carpenter played some in nickel coverage _ but he never regained
his 2002 form following spinal fusion surgery. He had four
interceptions and set career highs with 74 tackles and nine passes
broken up two years ago.

The Buffalo Bills signed Carpenter as an undrafted free agent
out of Virginia Tech in 1999.