Falcons release starting defensive lineman

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In a very surprising move, the Falcons have released Anthony Rush, who started all four games this season for Atlanta. The team announced the move a short time ago.

By all accounts, Rush had been a serviceable player next to Grady Jarrett and Ta’Quon Graham. After joining the Falcons’ practice squad a year ago and being elevated to the active roster halfway through the 2021 season, Rush was a welcome addition to an otherwise porous defensive front. The Falcons obviously liked what they saw and ended up re-signing him.

It wasn’t like Rush wasn’t playing either — 46% of defensive snaps in Week 1, 21% in Week 2, 25% in Week 3, and 38% in Week 4. Clearly, something has changed. This new regime has vowed to tweak the roster in any way to improve the team, so Rush wasn’t doing something to their liking.

The Falcons didn’t have a corresponding move announced, so this move is even more peculiar. To make it even stranger, the transaction comes at one of the thinnest position groups on the roster. I’m pretty confused, as most fans probably are, but there’s a chance he returns in a different role. There will likely be more details released in the coming days.

Now that Rush is out of the equation, the Falcons will have to rely on Abdullah Anderson and Timothy Horne. There’s the potential surprise move of Marlon Davidson being activated off the IR, or the Falcons could elevate a practice squad member — like Derrick Tangelo or Jaleel Johnson. Anderson and Horne have been serviceable in limited time, but the former has had a bigger impact for the Falcons in 2022. Maybe he gets the bulk of Rush’s snaps.

Photographer: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire

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