The Falcons announced that they have signed running backs Terron Ward and Stevan Ridley. To make room, Atlanta cut linebacker A.J. Hawk and offensive lineman Mike Person. In a related move, the Falcons also signed running back Jhurell Pressley to the practice squad.
The Lions signed Ridley this offseason with the idea that he would fulfill their “big back” role. Instead, Zach Zenner broke out in the summer and Ridley was cut loose in late August. Soon after, he was picked up by the Colts, but Indianapolis dropped him before the 75-man deadline. A former third-round pick, Ridley averaged 5.1 yards per carry in limited action during his rookie season in 2011, then exploded for 1,263 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012. However, fumbling issues landed him on the bench in New England, and a devastating ACL/MCL injury limited him in both 2014 and 2015.
Now, the Falcons are hoping that Ridley can recapture some of his old magic. The veteran tailback, along with the newly-promoted Ward, will try to fill the gap while Tevin Coleman deals with a hamstring issue.
Hawk, 33 in January, was released by the Bengals early on this past offseason and found only mild interest on the free agent market. Hawk signed a one-year deal with the Falcons for the veteran’s minimum on Oct. 4, though that deal included a $15K signing bonus. The veteran appeared in only one game for Atlanta and he did not record an official statistic.
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