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Cordarrelle Patterson activated off IR among flurry of Falcons roster moves

Left guard Elijah Wilkinson placed on injured reserve with knee injury

The Falcons have activated running back Cordarrelle Patterson off injured reserve, meaning he'll be available to play the L.A. Chargers on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

That's just one of several roster moves the team announced on Saturday afternoon. And by several, we mean, like, a whole lot.

Ready? Here are they all are, in list form:

  • Patterson activated of IR
  • Starting left guard Elijah Wilkinson was placed on injured reserve
  • Edge rusher Quinton Bell was released
  • Defensive lineman Jalen Dalton was signed to the 53-man roster off the practice squad
  • Safety Jovante Moffatt and offensive lineman Ryan Neuzil were designated as practice-squad elevations.

Got all that? Good.

Now let's break it all down.

Getting Patterson back is a huge benefit to the run game, the passing game and the return game. The physical, fast and versatile talent will make an immediate impact in all those phases, especially to a ground game already going strong with Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley behind a stout offensive line.

Patterson's ability to work in the pattern – the man's a career receiver, after all – adds another dynamic threat for Marcus Mariota to find through the air and certainly changes the way you'll have to defend Kyle Pitts, Drake London and all of Arthur Smith's Falcons. He's also arguably the best kick returner of all time, so that's aa huge addition to special teams.

While those are all pluses, losing Wilkinson for at least four games with a knee injury is a setback. The starting left guard had fared well this season as a run blocker and pass protector, so playing without him for any stretch is not ideal. Interior lineman Matt Hennessy was seen taking first unit reps at left guard during open portions of practice -- he said he has been working there for weeks -- despite being a reserve center, which is likely why center/guard Ryan Neuzil is a practice squad elevation. Colby Gossett is also an option at guard.

Moffatt also makes sense as an elevation, with Erik Harris questionable (ankle) and Dean Marlowe traded to Buffalo just before the NFL trade deadline. The Falcons could still be thin at safety, though starting slot corner Isaiah Oliver has cross-trained there and could play there in a pinch.

Dalton gets promoted a week after he was a practice squad elevation and Matt Dickerson was inactive despite being on the 53-man roster. He also brings the defensive line group to six, creating some more injury protection.

Bell was released to make room for roster additions after being inactive five times in eight weeks. He's a talented play but was behind Lorenzo Carter, Arnold Ebiketie, Ade Ogundeji and DeAngelo Malone in the pass-rusher pecking order.

Take a look as the team puts in the work in Flowery Branch to prepare for this week's game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

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