Feleipe Franks has encountered an injury which will interrupt his Falcons tenure. Atlanta announced on Thursday that they have waived the hybrid quarterback/tight end with an injury designation. Jordan Schultz of the Score reports Franks suffered a torn tendon in his foot, which should sideline him for roughly three months (Twitter link).
The former UDFA entered the league as a signal-caller, but the team began transitioning to tight end last summer. Franks has yet to see much usage on offense in either capacity, logging only 68 offensive snaps to date. He has been a contributor on special teams, though, and an increased pass-catching role could have been in the cards for a team lacking in proven weapons in that regard.
Franks, 25, will revert to IR after clearing waivers. During his missed time, the Falcons will still have a tight end tandem facing considerable expectations. Kyle Pitts will look to return to full health and reach his potential as a former top-five pick, while trade acquisition Jonnu Smith and recent signing MyCole Pruitt should provide capable run blocking in head coach Arthur Smith‘s ground-based scheme.
On a busy day in Atlanta, the team also waived/injured wideout Chris Blair and defensive lineman Ikenna Enechukwu. Offensive lineman Ethan Greenidge has been placed on IR, meaning he will not be eligible to play during the 2023 season. Absences from each of those three players will not have the same effect as that of Franks, who should at least be able to retain his third phase duties upon return.
With the roster spots opened by the above moves, the Falcons have added Michal Menet, Matthew Gotel, Caeveon Patton and Mathew Sexton (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of KPRC2). No member of that quartet has regular season NFL experience, so they could face an uphill climb to secure a 53-man roster spot during cutdowns. While they vie for an NFL opportunity, Franks will focus on rehab and minimizing the time he misses in his third year in Atlanta.