Falcons Sign James Anderson

Two days after being released by the Titans, veteran linebacker James Anderson has signed with the Falcons, the club announced today (Twitter link). Anderson takes the 53-man roster spot vacated by running back Antone Smith, who was placed on season-ending injured reserve after suffering a broken leg on Sunday.

Anderson, 31, started all 16 games last season for the Bears, with Pro Football Focus’ metrics (subscription required) ranking him 33rd out of 35 qualified 4-3 outside linebackers. That poor grade was due in large part to subpar performance against the run — he was one of the league’s more effective linebackers in pass coverage. Still, he didn’t see any time on defense during his stint this season in Tennessee, appearing exclusively on special teams.

In Atlanta, Anderson, a former third-round pick figures to push Prince Shembo and Joplo Bartu for snaps on defense, and will likely get some action on kick and punt coverage as well.

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