Now that the Atlanta Falcons have finished their last preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, we are on the home stretch for the regular season. It is so close, the smell and aura of the regular season is positively permeating everything. Before the season can begin, however, there is still some business to be taken care of by this Falcons team.
The Falcons must cut the active roster down to 53 players by the end of the day. The first player that I have heard being cut by the Falcons is center Tyler Horn, an un-drafted free-agent. I suppose the rookie out of Miami wasn’t producing at a high enough level, but his is just one of dozens more similar stories around the league of players who got to experience an NFL training camp, but not much else. Keep an eye on the players the Falcons cut, or keep on the roster.
Secondly, we have been given a huge gift by having the majority of our players remain healthy throughout the preseason. For a team with a veteran, proven roster, the preseason is a focus on playing more efficiently, but most importantly staying healthy through until the games that really count come up. With the notable exceptions of fullback Bradie Ewing, who will be out for the season with a knee injury, and Will Svitek who will be out for the season with an arm injury, this team is intact and healthy. As much as X’s and O’s are important in the game, being healthy is just about as important.
The position battles will play them out today, and over the course of practice reps. The battle at DE between Cliff Matthews and rookie Jonathan Massaquoi may be decided today as the Falcons decide who to cut, and who to keep on the roster. I wouldn’t be surprised if the one who gets cut ends up on the practice squad. The position battle for right guard is a different story, as both guys who are competing for the spot will likely remain on the roster. Garrett Reynolds and Peter Konz have both played with the first team offense, and have each played at about the same level. I’m not sure if that says that Konz isn’t outstanding yet as we thought he would be when we drafted him, or if Reynolds is playing very well this preseason, but it is certain that we have depth at the position. Personally, I hope that it is a case of Reynolds just playing very well. If he gets the job by default, it’s not a good thing for the Falcons offensive line.
Keep your eyes peeled for which players the Falcons cut in the next few hours. They could be very telling signs. Also, get ready for the Falcons regular season to get started!