The Falcons have placed Deion Jones, Isaiah Oliver, Marlon Davidson, Jalen Mayfield and John FitzPatrick on injured reserve, the organization announced on Thursday.
In corresponding moves, the Falcons have re-signed DL Abdullah Anderson, LB Nick Kwiatkowski and OL Colby Gossett. The team also announced that they claimed offensive tackle Chuma Edoga and defensive tackle Matt Dickerson off waivers, keeping the Falcons roster at 53.
As for the new additions to the Falcons in-season injured reserve list, Davidson has been battling a knee injury throughout majority of the Falcons preseason. On the day the Falcons traveled to New York to play the Jets on Monday night, Davidson reportedly was having his knee scoped. He has not returned to the field since.
Meanwhile, Mayfield has been battling a lower back issue that has lingered since the second week of training camp. Mayfield missed a couple camp practices early, but was able to play in the first two preseason games for the Falcons. The former starting left guard did not participate in the second day of the Falcons joint practices last week, nor did he play in the final preseason game on Saturday. At the time, Arthur Smith said he was sick. When Mayfield, again, did not participate in Monday's practice, Smith said while he was still sick he was (notably) still working through that lower back injury. It's one that has now landed him on IR.
Another player who did not participate - or even dress - for Saturday's game was FitzPatrick. The rookie tight end made a name for himself at Georgia as an in-line blocking tight end. The Falcons - in search of that exact prototype this offseason - drafted FitzPatrick with their final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Though FitzPatrick's injury has yet to be reported, it is worth noting that he reportedly underwent two separate surgeries this offseason to repair stress fractures in both feet that he played. on throughout the 2021 season with Georgia.
As for Jones and Oliver, their moves to IR are a bit more surprising considering we have seen them in the preseason, particularly recently.
Jones was activated off the PUP list last week following a shoulder procedure he underwent at the beginning of the offseason. He participated in both joint practices with Jacksonville, and even saw a quarter and a half of playing time on Saturday. Rumors have circulated all offseason (and preseason) questioning Jones' future in Atlanta. With the veteran inside linebacker now on IR, the rumors will only continue to swirl.
Meanwhile, Oliver continues to work back to 100 percent following a season-ending knee injury sustained four games into the 2021 season. Like Jones, Oliver played sparingly on Saturday. After the game, Oliver said that while he's officially retired the knee brace he's been wearing since returning to the field in May that he is still not yet at 100 percent. With that context, his lack of first- and second-team nickel reps during camp now make more sense, as does his IR placement.
With these players moving off the 53-man roster to IR, it opens up five spots on the active roster. With the space, the Falcons chose to re-sign Andersen, Kwiatkowski and Gossett, who were cut upon the initial 53-man roster announcement on Tuesday. It's because of their value in depth that the return of these three players does not come as much of a shock in Atlanta.
We take a look at the initial 53-man roster for 2022.