FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The Falcons have designated cornerback Isaiah Oliver to return off injured reserve, head coach Arthur Smith announced in a Wednesday press conference.
The veteran has taken the first month of the season continuing to recover from a knee injury, the final stages of recovery after tearing his ACL in Week 4 of last season.
Oliver participated in training camp and the preseason, limited by the knee while wearing a full brace. He was able to play 31 snaps in the preseason finale before being placed on injured reserve for more rehab work.
Those were all encouraging steps for a player who thrived as a slot cornerback in Dean Pees' defense. That's a complicated position in this scheme, with varied responsibilities as a blitzer, run defender and cover man.
Mike Ford and Dee Alford have played some there, so have some Falcons safeties, with Oliver out. If Oliver shows well, he could assume that spot in the future.
The University of Colorado alum presently has a 21-day practice window open, starting Wednesday, for the team to figure out if he's ready to return to the active roster. The Falcons can activate him at any point during this period. Once they reach the end of that 21-day window, they must decide whether to activate him or to put him on season-ending injured reserve.