The Atlanta Falcons will have to make a roster addition before Sunday’s matchup in Jacksonville against Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars. The team announced on Monday they would place punter Dustin Colquitt on the reserve/COVID-19 list and released Joe Sculthorpe from the practice squad. Atlanta started the year with Cam Nizlialek but ended up releasing the former Georgia Bulldog after six games, electing to go with Colquitt. Now, the Falcons will have to find a punter before Sunday.
According to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Falcons were looking at acquiring Thomas Morstead, who was with the Saints for 12 consecutive seasons to begin his career. They made the signing official today.
I’m so grateful for the opportunity to continue my playing career. Thank you Atlanta Falcons I’ll give you everything I have!
I acknowledge that this will pain many of my biggest supporters. All I can say is my love for New Orleans is as strong as ever. #WhoDatForLife pic.twitter.com/uCEDSmYOO3
— Thomas Morstead (@thomasmorstead) November 23, 2021
Terry Fontenot is very familiar with the 35-year-old punter, given their time spent in New Orleans. A former Pro Bowler, Morstead played most recently for the Jets as he filled in for seven games after their starting punter suffered an injury. During New York’s matchup with Atlanta this year, the veteran punter booted four tries and averaged 51.3 yards per punt, dropping three of them inside the Falcons’ 20-yard line.
It makes sense to bring him around on the practice squad in case Colquitt can’t go. Morstead still has some leg left, averaging over 48 yards per punt with the Jets; it was surprising New York decided to let him go. Punters are more important than most casual fans care to admit because of their ability to shift field position completely. The Falcons have already re-signed Dom Maggio, too. What’s more intriguing is how the possible change could affect the field goal unit, which usually designated the punter as the placeholder.