Falcons sign tight end Parker Hesse to active roster

Hesse played in 70 percent of the Falcons offensive snaps against Buffalo Bills on Sunday

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Atlanta Falcons tight end Parker Hesse #46 during organized team activities in Phase III of the Atlanta Falcons offseason program on May 26, 2021.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Following a solid performance on Sunday in the Falcons loss to the Buffalo Bills, Atlanta has signed tight end Parker Hesse to the active roster.

With Hayden Hurst being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list last week, the Falcons called up Hesse from the practice squad on Saturday. By Sunday's end, Hesse had played in 70 percent of the Falcons offensive snaps against the Bills. For comparison's sake, Kyle Pitts played in 51 percent as a hamstring injury kept him limited in the second half. Lee Smith's snap count was also surprisingly low in Buffalo. He only played in 10 snaps on Sunday.

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Matt Ryan connected with Hesse three times on Sunday for a total of 31 receiving yards.

Hesse's journey to the NFL is an interesting one as he was a defensive end at Iowa when the Hawkeyes had a tight end class that included T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant. Upon entering the NFL, Hesse converted to tight end.

"I love playing the position," Hesse said. "I've just been very fortunate that I've had people that have believed in me and my potential along the way because certainly when I started, it didn't look great all the time... there are a lot of things that I have to improve on that I am just learning every day. Fortunately for me, throughout my young career so far, I've had those people that believed in me. That just gives you confidence to go out and say, 'If they believe I can do it, there's no reason I can't.'"

The Falcons will continue to rely on Hesse throughout the last week of the season with the extent of Pitts' injury still unknown.

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