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Falcons activate trio of players off reserve/COVID-19 list, still bring in reinforcements

Analyzing the Falcons roster moves ahead of Sunday's matchup with the Buffalo Bills 

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Feleipe Franks #15 warms up prior to a game against the Detroit Lions at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Atlanta Falcons)
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Feleipe Franks #15 warms up prior to a game against the Detroit Lions at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Atlanta Falcons)

BUFFALO, NY -- The Falcons activated Brandon Copeland, Feleipe Franks and Richie Grant off the reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday afternoon. Arthur Smith foreshadowed as much in his Wednesday press conference, saying then that the Falcons felt "optimistic" they'd be able to get a portion of the then-12 players back before kickoff on Sunday in Buffalo.

With the activation of Copeland, Franks and Grant, the Falcons' reserve/COVID-19 list drops to nine players.

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Even though the Falcons claimed QB Matt Barkley off of waivers this week, Franks' return is still notable for both the backup quarterback spot as well as for Franks' special teams role. However, the most note worthy return is Grant.

The Falcons were looking extremely thin in the secondary with Grant and Jaylinn Hawkins on the reserve/COVID-19 list this week. With Fabian Moreau also doubtful to play on Sunday with a rib injury, the Falcons secondary was only looking more sparse.

Getting Grant back - who Dean Pees has said has "taken over" the nickel position - is a very promising development for the Falcons defense. Along with getting Copeland and Tyeler Davison (activated Friday) back, the Falcons are slowly building up their defensive rotation.

In other COVID-19-related roster moves, the Falcons elevated TE Parker Hesse, WR Austin Trammell, DB Luther Kirk, DB Lafayette Pitts and DE Nick Thurman from the practice squad.

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