The Falcons will be without one of their starting linebackers for a while. Troy Andersen is headed to IR, the team announced. The 2022 second-round pick has run into multiple health issues to start his second season.
After missing Week 2 with a concussion, Andersen returned to action against the Lions. But he has encountered shoulder and pectoral injuries. Indicating Andersen’s injury “didn’t look good,” Arthur Smith said a potential season-ending IR stay could be on tap. An MRI confirmed a severe injury, per the team website. It is not known if Andersen suffered a torn pec, an injury that would sideline him for the rest of the season.
Although teams have eight IR activations to use in-season, Andersen may not factor into this roster math. Andersen went down during the fourth quarter of the Falcons’ Week 3 loss to the Lions. Nate Landman, a 2022 UDFA, stepped in for Andersen.
Arriving as last year’s No. 58 overall pick, the Montana State alum joined a Falcons team with a crowded linebacker group last year. Despite Foye Oluokun‘s defection to Jacksonville, Atlanta still rostered a host of veterans — Deion Jones, Rashaan Evans and Nick Kwiatkoski — along with Mykal Walker. The Falcons overhauled their linebacking corps upon hiring Ryan Nielsen as defensive coordinator. Jones, Evans, Kwiatkoski and Walker are all elsewhere, with ex-Saint Kaden Elliss added to anchor the team’s linebacking corps.
Playing behind the likes of Walker and Evans last season, Andersen did make five starts as a rookie. The Division I-FCS product notched 69 tackles (three for loss) last season, forcing a fumble. He started alongside Elliss to open this season. A Colorado alum, Landman played in 10 games as a rookie. After logging just 22 defensive snaps throughout his first season, Landman has already been on the field for 57 this year. He started in place of Andersen in Week 2 and looks to continue in that capacity moving forward. Sixth-year veteran Tae Davis sits as the other Falcons backup inside ‘backer. The Falcons have Andre Smith and Milo Eifler as their practice squad ILBs.