Falcons Rumors

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/16/22

With the NFL dropping the roster limit to 85 players today, we’ve got a long list of minor moves to pass along:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Commanders

Injury Rumors: London, Stevenson

Here’s the word on some of the injuries from Week 1 of the preseason:

  • The Falcons saw their top draft pick of 2022 leave their first preseason game in the first quarter on Friday. Wide receiver Drake London asked to be subbed out after reeling in a 24-yard pass from quarterback Marcus Mariota. This was the last thing Atlanta fans wanted to see considering London was drafted so highly despite an injury that ended his final season at USC prematurely. Luckily, it doesn’t appear that his college injury was the cause of his exit, according to AP News. London left the game with a knee injury, a different ailment from the broken ankle that sidelined him in college. The Falcons will play it careful with London and allow him time to get back to 100% before the regular season begins. “It’s nothing that we’re really concerned about long term,” head coach Arthur Smith told the media. “We’ll be smart…We hope to get everyone back by the time the regular season rolls around.” It looks like London will sit out this week, at least, and the team will reevaluate on the other side of their Week 2 preseason matchup with the Jets next Monday.
  • The Bills were without wide receiver Marquez Stevenson this week in a preseason game that likely would’ve seen him get plenty of playing time. Head coach Sean McDermott told the media that Stevenson “had surgery to repair a foot injury last week,” likely sidelining him for the remainder of the preseason, according to a tweet from Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic. McDermott seemed to convey that the team was uncertain whether or not he would be ready to begin the regular season. It’ll be interesting to see what effect, if any, this has on the Bills’ final 53-man roster for guys like Tavon Austin, Tanner Gentry, and Jake Kumerow.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/9/22

Today’s minor moves around the NFL:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

  • Placed on IR: DL Bryce Rodgers

Cleveland Browns

Indianapolis Colts

  • Released via injury settlement: WR John Hurst

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

  • Signed: OL Chris Glaser
  • Released: DE Hamilcar Rashed and OL Parker Ferguson

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Perry’s interesting post-draft NFL journey continues. Initially slated to join the Eagles as a UDFA, he ended up signing with the Jaguars days later. Then, in July, he was waived (with an injury designation) to make room for Sloter’s addition. Perry has obviously recovered, as the two have now swapped placed once more.

Fenton was one of four Chiefs placed on the PUP list at the start of training camp. That came as little surprise at the time, but his return to practice will be a welcomed sight in Kansas City’s secondary. NFL Network’s James Palmer tweets that Fenton’s preseason availability remains a question mark, but that he is still expected to be fully recovered in time for the regular season.

Jackson was a fifth-round pick in this year’s draft at a position which has been in flux throughout the offseason in New Orleans. The 24-year-old had a highly productive final season in particular at Appalachian State, posting 119 tackles, 20 TFLs and six sacks. He will now have to wait until 2023 to carve out a depth role in the middle of the Saints’ defense.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/8/22

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

  • Waived/injured: DT Bryce Rodgers

Carolina Panthers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington Commanders

  • Signed: WR Matt Cole
  • Reverted to IR: WR Jequez Ezzard

Falcons To Sign TE MyCole Pruitt

Despite a severe injury — a dislocated and broken ankle — ending MyCole Pruitt‘s 2021 season, he is back with a team during training camp. The Falcons are signing the veteran tight end, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets.

Pruitt, who spent most of the past four years with the Titans, had surfaced on the workout circuit recently. The Bengals and Vikings brought him in, gauging his form after the ankle injury occurred late last season. Pruitt went down during the Titans’ Week 17 game in early January but will have an opportunity to be part of the Falcons’ 53-man roster.

This will import another of Arthur Smith‘s former Titans tight ends. The team also added Anthony Firkser to its Kyle Pitts-led position group this offseason. Atlanta did not retain 2021 Pitts complement Hayden Hurst, who played with the team for two seasons. Pruitt was with the Titans during part of Smith’s run as their tight ends coach and throughout his stay as offensive coordinator.

Used mostly as a blocker, Pruitt played between 36-44% of the Titans’ offensive snaps over the past three seasons. While the Titans let Pruitt sign with the 49ers in 2021, San Francisco cutting him before the start of the season paved a path back to Tennessee. The former Vikings fifth-round pick played a steady role in helping Derrick Henry to back-to-back rushing titles in 2019 and ’20. Last season doubled as Pruitt’s best receiving year, producing 14 receptions, 145 yards and three touchdown grabs (all career-high marks).

Going into what would be his age-30 season, Pruitt could be in position to complement Pitts. But he will have to show he has recovered from the ankle setback. The Falcons also used a sixth-round pick on tight end John FitzPatrick this year.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/7/22

We will keep track of today’s minor moves right here:

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Washington Commanders

Saffold landed on the NFI list after injuring his ribs in a car accident. Getting their starting left guard back sooner rather than later is an important development for the Bills.

Colburn will take the place of Cottrell in the Jags’ RB room. The Wake Forest product played in four games for the USFL’s Philadelphia Stars this year, garnering 102 rushes for 457 yards (just under 4.5 YPC) and eight scores.

Cottrell has seen action in each of the past two years for Jacksonville, returning seven kicks in 2020 and handling one carry in 2021.

Wolf and Parker get preseason roster positions after successful workouts yesterday. The Commanders are looking for depth at both positions as they work towards a 53-man roster.

Injury Updates: Patriots, Burrow, Poyer, Giants, Falcons

James White remains without a return timetable. The veteran is still sidelined following hip surgery, and Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets that it’s uncertain when the long-time Patriots RB will return to the field.

The longest-tenured member of the Patriots offense could ultimately land on PUP, but Howe notes that the organization will wait a few more weeks to evaluate White’s progress. The RB suffered a hip subluxation injury last September, limiting him to only three games during the 2021 season. White had 496 yards from scrimmage during his first non-Tom Brady season in 2020, but he topped 1,000 yards from scrimmage in both 2019 and 2018.

Fortunately for the Patriots, the organization still has Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson atop their depth chart, but it’s tough to replace the pass-catching prowess of White. The organization also used a pair of draft picks on RBs Pierre Strong Jr. (fourth round) and Kevin Harris (sixth round).

More injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow had an appendectomy last week, and it’s unlikely we see him until the regular season. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweets that Burrow likely won’t play during the preseason. Rapoport estimates that the QB could return two to four weeks after his initially surgery, and he’ll likely participate in throwing sessions while limiting his hits during practice.
  • Bills All-Pro safety Jordan Poyer hyperextended his elbow yesterday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). While the injury will keep Poyer off the field for a few weeks, he’s expected to be ready for the start of the regular season. The veteran defensive back has only missed a pair of regular season games since joining the Bills in 2017.
  • Giants fourth-round safety Dane Belton suffered a broken collarbone, reports ESPN’s Jordan Raanan (via Twitter). While the rookie will be sidelined for the foreseeable future, the organization is holding out hope that he’ll be good to go for the start of the season. There’s a better chance he lands on IR following final cuts and will then be activated at some point in October. The Iowa product had already made a strong impression at training camp, according to Raanan.
  • Falcons defensive tackle Vincent Taylor ruptured his Achilles, according to ESPN’s Michael Rothstein (on Twitter). The injury will force Taylor to miss the 2022 season. The 28-year-old joined the Falcons back in April. The journeyman has appeared in 40 career games, including a single start with the Texans in 2021.

NFC South Notes: Saints, Elflein, Falcons

A potential Alvin Kamara suspension does not appear to be coming to start the 2022 season. The Saints running back’s hearing on charges of conspiracy to commit battery and battery with substantial bodily harm, which was scheduled for this week, has been delayed 60 days, according to KLAS-TV’s David Charns. Kamara, Chiefs cornerback Chris Lammons and two other men face charges in connection with a Feb. 5 assault committed against a man in Las Vegas. The Saints Pro Bowler is bracing for a six-game suspension, but depending on when this hearing ends up taking place, that potential ban may come either during the 2022 season or to start the ’23 campaign.

Here is the latest from the NFC South:

  • Tyrann Mathieu is back with the Saints. The offseason addition is making his training camp debut six days late after being excused for a personal matter, Jeff Duncan of NOLA.com notes. Signed to a three-year deal worth $28.3MM, Mathieu is believed to have returned to New Orleans on Tuesday night. The 29-year-old All-Pro joins Marcus Maye as the safeties on track to replace the Marcus WilliamsMalcolm Jenkins tandem.
  • Pat Elflein has played both guard and center for the Panthers, but Matt Rhule said recently the veteran will be working at the latter spot during training camp. Elflein is battling the recently signed Bradley Bozeman for the center gig. Despite Bozeman being one of the team’s offseason additions up front, along with projected starters Austin Corbett and Ikem Ekwonu, The Athletic’s Joe Person noted ahead of camp Elflein had a slight lead for the pivot job (subscription required). A former Vikings center starter, Elflein signed a three-year, $13.5MM deal with the Panthers in 2021. He started nine games with Carolina last season, though Pro Football Focus graded him as one of the league’s worst interior O-linemen.
  • The Panthers made some changes to their scouting department recently. They bumped Rob Hanrahan from assistant director of pro scouting to pro scouting director and gave his old gig to Tyler Ramsey, Person tweets. Hanrahan will replace Matt Allen, whom the team parted ways with in February. Additionally, Robert Haynes will rise from the area-scout level to a national scouting post, and former Lions wide receiver Corey Fuller — brother of Kyle and Kendall Fuller — is moving from the assistant level to west coast area scout (Twitter link).
  • Jahri Evans and Ty Warren are attempting to break into the coaching ranks. Both are interning as Saints staffers at camp, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. A 12-year veteran who made four straight All-Pro teams as a Saints guard, Evans, 38, hung up his cleats after the 2017 season. Warren, 41, spent 10 seasons with the Patriots and Broncos, being a starting defensive lineman for two Pats Super Bowl-bound squads. He retired after the 2012 season.
  • The Falcons also made some staff adjustments. They promoted Sal Conti to pro scout and Rushell Harvey to player personnel coordinator, per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Both staffers joined the team last year under GM Terry Fontenot. The team also hired Donavan Ellison, previously a Panthers assistant, to work as a football analyst.

Falcons Name Marcus Mariota Starting QB

This will not qualify as particularly surprising news, but the Falcons have named Marcus Mariota their starting quarterback. On the first day of training camp earlier this week, quarterbacks coach Charles London confirmed that Mariota will serve as Atlanta’s QB1, while third-round rookie Desmond Ridder will begin his pro career as Mariota’s backup.

“Obviously, we’ve got a plan for each of them,” London said. “Marcus is the starter. That’s how we’re going into this thing” (via Josh Kendall of The Athletic (subscription required)).

Mariota, the No. 2 overall pick of the Titans in the 2015 draft, showed some promise during his five years in Tennessee, including a 2016 campaign in which he threw for 26 TDs against nine interceptions and rushed for 349 yards and a pair of scores. But Ryan Tannehill supplanted Mariota as the Titans’ starter midway through the 2019 season, and Mariota has spent the last two years with the Raiders as Derek Carr‘s backup.

During that time, he saw extended action in only one game, a Week 15 contest in 2020 in which he completed 17 of 28 passes for 226 yards, including a touchdown and an interception, and rushed nine times for 88 yards and a score. That performance was enough to generate trade interest the following offseason, but the structure of Mariota’s contract prevented a deal from being consummated. He ultimately remained with Las Vegas on a reworked pact, and he wound up throwing just two passes in 2021 (though he was occasionally brought in on special packages and rushed 13 times for 87 yards and a TD).

After trading franchise icon Matt Ryan to the Colts in March, the Falcons signed Mariota to a two-year, $18.75MM contract. Even after that signing, the club was said to be considering using its No. 8 overall pick on a collegiate passer, though Atlanta chose to wait until the third round to select a QB. Ridder completed just under 65% of his passes for 30 TDs and eight picks in 2021 — a season in which he took Cincinnati to the College Football Playoff — and has the chance to become the long-term answer for Atlanta under center.

He may be working with the second team as he acclimates to the NFL, but he will be getting plenty of reps. We heard last month that the Falcons would be deploying Feleipe Franks, the only other quarterback on the roster, in more of a hybrid role, and Kendall confirmed that Franks will practice as a tight end for most of camp.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/29/22

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

  • Signed: DL Tomasi Laulile

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Signed as a UDFA shortly after the draft, Mevis fared rather poorly in a Thursday workout. The rookie kicker missed badly on three warmup kicks, one of which drilling ex-Cowboys HC Dave Campo (of Hard Knocks 2002 fame), per ESPN.com’s Michael DiRocco. Mevis had struggled during the start of Jaguars camp. This is Fry’s seventh NFL team since he entered the league in 2019. The workout-circuit regular has played in three regular-season games — one-offs with the Falcons, Bengals and Chiefs. The Jags also have kicker Ryan Santoso on their roster.

A hamstring injury, sustained during a workout shortly after a flight to Green Bay, sidelined Watkins for the start of Packers camp. The veteran will try to shake a well-earned injury-prone label in Green Bay, though the former top-five pick’s roster spot may not be 100% secure. Andrews, who returned in 2020 after missing all of the 2019 season due to blood clots, underwent offseason shoulder surgery. He is back for a seventh season as the Patriots’ starting center.