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Falcons sign defensive lineman, place receiver on injured reserve

Eli Ankou joins the Falcons 53-man roster to replace Josh Ali. 

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Falcons have signed defensive lineman Eli Ankou to the active 53-man roster, the organization announced on Wednesday. In a corresponding move, the Falcons have placed wide receiver Josh Ali on injured reserve.

Ali was listed on the Falcons injury report with an ankle injury in the lead up to the Falcons' trip to London last week. The organization announced on Thursday that Ali would not travel with the team to London.

After going unselected in the 2022 NFL Draft, Ali came to Atlanta during rookie minicamp for a tryout. Though he was not initially signed at that time, he would join the Falcons at the end of the 2022 training camp. He was initially signed to the practice squad, before he was elevated to the active roster at the very end of the season. He saw action in the final two games of the season, but did not register a catch.

He signed a reserve/futures contract with the Falcons in January and made the initial 53-man roster in August 2023. He was a healthy scratch in Week 1 and 2 of the 2023 season.

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Josh Ali #80 during practice at Atlanta Falcons Training Facility in Flowery Branch, Ga. on Wednesday, September 13, 2023. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

To fill Ali's open spot on the roster, the Falcons signed Ankou off the Buffalo Bills practice squad. Ankou is someone who already has a history with the Falcons, having signed with the Falcons in May 2021 and August 2021. He was released less than a month later in both cases.

After his second release by the Falcons, Ankou found success with the Bills. Signing to their practice squad in November 2021, Ankou was active for six games to finish out the year with 10 tackles and a sack. Ankou fluctuated on and off the Bills practice squad for the next year and signed a reserve/future contract in January 2023. He was signed to the Bills practice squad following training camp in August where he's remained until this week.

Take a monochrome look at the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the Jacksonville Jaguars in London during Week 4.

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