Atlanta Falcons Rumors & News

NFL Suspends Free Agent CB Jalen Collins

Cornerback Jalen Collins has gone unsigned since hitting the free agent market in November. Now, we know why. The former Falcon has been suspended for additional games by the NFL, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Jalen Collins

This marks the second ban of the year for Collins, who served a ten-game suspension to start the season. It’s not immediately clear what Collins’ latest suspension is for, but it may be a substance abuse violation. If this were a third ban for performance-enhancing drugs, it would be longer than four games.

Collins appeared in eight games (six starts) for the Falcons last year. The 2015 second-round pick is viewed as a highly-talented player, but his off-the-field issues have hampered him thus far in the NFL. If not for his red flags, he likely would have been a first-round choice in 2015. He also might be a starting cornerback in Atlanta today.

Once Collins is clear to play, he may draw interest from contenders looking to beef up the secondary. Then again, teams might be wary of bringing him into the locker room given his checkered past.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 12/5/17

Today’s practice squad updates:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: TE Robert Tonyan

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

Oakland Raiders

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/4/17

Here are today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Houston Texans

Oakland Raiders

Washington Redskins

Andy Levitre Won’t Play In Week 14

Falcons guard Andy Levitre left the Falcons game vs. the Vikings on Sunday and wasn’t able to return due to a partially torn triceps. Now with a quick turnaround for the team’s Thursday night affair against the Saints, Levitre will not be able to suit up in Atlanta’s Week 14 contest, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

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However, Rapoport does clarify that a source tells him the injury is not a season ender. The team is hopeful that the lineman could return after just “2-3 weeks”.

Levitre, 31, has been one of the better guards in the league since he entered the NFL as a second round pick by the Bills in 2009. Even as he gets older, Levitre still ranks as a top 20 guard in football this year, according to Pro Football Focus. He grades out similarly in terms of run and pass blocking, so there’s not one area he shows great weakness or strength in so far in 2017.

Backup lineman Ben Garland came into replace Levitre in yesterday’s game, so you can expect him to get the first crack as the starting left guard on Thursday. The team also has Ty Sambrailo, Austin Pasztor and Sean Harlow on the bench for depth purposes.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

QB Coach Bush Hamdan Leaving For College Job After Season

  • There’s going to be at least some shakeup in the Falcons coaching staff this offseason. Quarterbacks coach Bush Hamdan is leaving his position in Atlanta to become the new offensive coordinator at the University of Washington, reports Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The position became available after the school’s former offensive coordinator, Jonathan Smith, became the head coach at Oregon State. Hamdan will wait till the end of the Falcons season before he departs for his new job.

NFL Workout Updates: 11/30/17

Here are the latest workout and visit updates, courtesy of veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer unless otherwise noted.

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Falcons Work Out Leodis McKelvin

The Falcons could be without Desmond Trufant this week as he navigates concussion protocol, and the defending NFC champions brought in Leodis McKelvin for possible insurance.

McKelvin worked out for the Falcons on Thursday, Field Yates of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). McKelvin has yet to play this season but has participated in multiple auditions for NFC teams.

Both the Rams and Saints brought McKelvin in for visits back in August, but each team moved on from the 32-year-old defender without an agreement. The Falcons, though, could be down their No. 1 corner. And key contributor Brian Poole is also dealing with a back injury. The Falcons, though, have six cornerbacks on their 53-man roster.

The Eagles released McKelvin in February after one season. The former first-round pick played eight seasons in Buffalo before moving to Philadelphia. Known additionally for his return skills, McKelvin started 12 games for the Eagles last season and has 72 career starts on his stat page.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Devonta Freeman Clears Concussion Protocol

Devonta Freeman has cleared the league’s concussion protocol and will return to Falcons practice on Wednesday, head coach Dan Quinn told 92.9 The Game, per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Freeman was injured on the second play of Atlanta’s game against the Cowboys in Week 10, and the veteran running back has since missed two additional games as he deals with this second concussion of the season. Fellow running back Tevin Coleman has dominated backfield touches with Freeman sidelined, but Freeman figures to take on the majority of carries from here on out.

Falcons Rule Out Freeman For Week 12

The Falcons will be without star running back Devonta Freeman when the team hosts Tampa Bay on Sunday, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (Twitter link). Freeman could not recover in time from a concussion he sustained in Week 10 vs. Dallas. Devonta Freeman (vertical)

Freeman, who had only missed one game in his first three seasons, will be sidelined for the second consecutive week. Out for most of the week going through the concussion protocol, Freeman was limited at practice on Thursday and Friday before being ruled out.

The team will look to Tevin Coleman to shoulder the load vs. Tampa Bay. In each of his last two games as the team’s workhorse, Coleman has received at least 20 carries and scored a touchdown in victories over the Cowboys and Seahawks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Waive CB Jalen Collins

The Falcons have waived cornerback Jalen Collins, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Collins will be subject to waivers, meaning that the league’s other 31 teams will have an opportunity to add him to the roster on Wednesday afternoon. Jalen Collins

Collins was set to return from a 10-game suspension this week. The former second-round pick is undeniably talented, but the Falcons are fed up after the 24-year-old’s second ban for performance enhancing drugs as a pro.

Collins’ off-the-field issues date back to his days at LSU. In 2015, he was on course to be a first-round selection, but teams moved him down the board because of his red flags. After the draft, he admitted to failing at least three drug tests at LSU.

Thanks to the aforementioned suspensions and injury, Collins has appeared in just 24 games since entering the league in 2015. Last year, Collins started in six of his eight games and hauled in two interceptions and 31 total tackles.

His latest slip-up was unfortunate, but the Falcons were already planning to start a healthy Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford at cornerback. Over the summer, Collins found himself working with Atlanta’s third string CBs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.