Falcons make roster moves involving two rookies

Jared Bernhardt designated to return to practice off injured reserve

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Falcons have given some young players an opportunity to some additional work in, at the very least, as the season comes to a close.

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Receiver Jared Bernhardt has been designated to return to practice from injured reserve, head coach Arthur Smith announced in his Wednesday press conference. The undrafted player, who was a preseason standout, will have the final two weeks of the regular season to ramp up his activity and get a head start on his return from injury. He was placed on IR on Oct. 22.

Smith also said that Justin Shaffer will return to action from practice squad injured reserve, allowing him to work with the practice squad after joining unit's IR on Nov. 21. He would have to be elevated or promoted to the active roster to play in a game. Again, though, that's uncertain.

Some other guys practicing on IR have a better chance. Interior lineman Matt Hennessy and possibly tight end John FitzPatrick have been practicing for a while, and could take a roster spot that becomes available if offensive lineman Chuma Edoga formally goes on IR, as Smith said he likely would.

That's something to monitor as the practice week continues.

We take a monochrome look at the game against the Baltimore Ravens on December 24, 2022.

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