In just a short time, the Atlanta Falcons will take the field at home in their only primetime game of the year against the red-hot New England Patriots. Coming off a dominating win over the Browns, Bill Belichick’s group is playing sound football in all facets, while Arthur Smith’s team is coming in on a short week after arguably their worst loss of the season.
With an already thin roster, the Falcons can’t afford to lose any players. The two names to watch for are Cordarrelle Patterson and Jaylinn Hawkins, who are both game-time decisions Thursday night. Both are starters and critical pieces of their respective sides of the ball. The hits keep on coming for the Falcons, though, as the team announced a number of roster moves today.
The biggest being Hayden Hurst‘s placement on the injured reserve; already ruled out for Thursday’s game, the former Ravens’ tight end wasn’t included in game preparation. Still, Smith deploys as many two tight end sets as any in the league, so this could be a situation worth monitoring going forward. He injured his ankle against the Cowboys and finished the season with 158 yards on 20 receptions and one touchdown. Along with Hurst, the Falcons also placed Darren Bates on the injured reserve.
Terry Fontenot singed Emmanuel Ellerbee and Parker Hesse to the active 53-man roster in a corresponding move. He also elevated Shawn Williams and Marvin Hall to the practice squad, but that’s not all. In total, there are nine roster moves, including signing Rick Leonard and Joe Sculthorpe to the practice squad with Josh Andrews on the reserve/COVID-19 list.