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Falcons activate starting offensive lineman off injured reserve

Elijah Wilkinson expected to resume his role as first-team left guard

NEW ORLEANS – The offensive line is getting the band back together. This year's original starting five hasn't played together since Elijah Wilkinson hurt his knee in a Week 8 victory over Carolina.

The Falcons started three other players in his stead, and most options fared well, but Wilkinson remains the best option at left guard. After a stint on injured reserve and two weeks practice after being designated to return, Wilkinson has been activated.


The formal transaction was made on Saturday afternoon, per a team announcement, in time for Wilkinson to play Sunday's pivotal contest against the host New Orleans Saints.

The Falcons' roster was at 52 after putting Marcus Mariota on IR Wednesday, so the team didn't need to make a corresponding move.

Wilkinson was signed to a one-year contract this offseason and took a stranglehold on the left guard spot early in training camp, staving off challenges from Jalen Mayfield and Colby Gossett.

He has established himself as a possible long-term solution at the position with a solid season as a run blocker and in pass protection.

He'll be an asset to quarterback Desmond Ridder, making his first NFL start.

The guys put in the work in Flowery Branch to prepare for this week's game against the New Orleans Saints.

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