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Falcons sign kicker Giorgio Tavecchio

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Atlanta Falcons announced Tuesday that they have signed kicker Giorgio Tavecchio.

The move comes two days after Pro Bowl kicker Matt Bryant injured his hamstring while kicking a 57-yard field goal in the Falcons' 34-29 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

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Tavecchio, 28, joined the Falcons briefly during the preseason and converted one extra-point attempt during Atlanta final preseason game against the Miami Dolphins. Tavecchio played in 16 games with the Oakland Raiders last season. In his lone NFL season, Tavecchio made 16 of his 21 field goal attempts, including three from 50-plus yards, and 33 of his 34 extra point attempts.

"Part of the reason of bringing some guys in [during the preseason] is contingency planning," Falcons coach Dan Quinn said of Tavecchio on Monday. "If this situation ever came about, you'd like to be prepared for it. The leg strength, he was also a kickoff man, the accuracy that he has. He was somebody that we definitely had on our radar."

Tavecchio, who was born in Milan, Italy, has also spent time with the 49ers (2012), Packers (2013) and Lions (2013–2014) either as a practice squad player or during the offseason over the last six seasons.

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