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Falcons down two starting defenders in wild-card game

Atlanta Falcons starting cornerback Brent Grimes will not play in Sunday's NFC Wild Card Game against the New York Giants because of a nagging knee injury that sidelined him for four of the final five games of the regular season.

Falcons linebacker Stephen Nicholas (toe) also is inactive for Sunday's game after missing all three practices this week. Grimes previously was listed as questionable, and Nicholas was doubtful.

According to NFL Network's Albert Breer, Grimes said this week that he could have played in the Falcons' regular-season finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Grimes was a limited participant in Friday's practice, and Breer said it's likely the cornerback aggravated his injury this weekend.

The Falcons also deactivated quarterback John Parker Wilson, wide receiver Kerry Meier, offensive lineman Kirk Chambers, center Brett Romberg and defensive end Cliff Matthews.

Giants tight end Jake Ballard (knee), running back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), defensive end Justin Tuck (shoulder), offensive tackle Tony Ugoh (ankle), defensive end Osi Umenyiora (ankle, knee) and cornerback Corey Webster (hamstring) are all active after being listed as probable.

The Giants held out running back Da'Rel Scott, wide receiver Ramses Barden, offensive tackle James Brewer, center Jim Cordle, defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy, defensive end Justin Trattou and linebacker Mark Herzlich.

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