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What to make of the moves: Falcons sign defensive lineman Anthony Rush, release Deadrin Senat

The 350-pound nose tackle earns a roster spot following impressive play against the Saints, Falcons rearrange practice squad


FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Falcons made a flurry of roster moves on Monday afternoon that included:

This flurry of moves - particularly the signing of Rush - shouldn't come as much of a surprise when looking back on Arthur Smith's comments after beating the Saints on Sunday. The Falcons have liked what they've seen from its former practice squad placeholders turned game day role players.

Directly following the Falcons 27-25 win over the Saints in New Orleans, Smith spent a quick minutes giving a verbal pat on the back to a trio of these "unsung heroes."

"You bring in James Vaughters, he made an enormous play tonight. Mike Pennel, he's been pretty solid. Anthony Rush, gosh almighty, he made some good plays," Smith said on Sunday. "These are guys that as you continue to churn the roster, these guys step up."


The Falcons already signed Vaughters to the 53-man roster prior to the game, as he had used up his two practice squad elevations in weeks prior. With the Falcons down Jonathan Bullard, as he works through concussion protocol, Atlanta called up Rush to help stop the Saints offense.

Playing in 33 percent of Sunday's defensive snaps, Rush must have shown the coaching staff enough to warrant an official roster spot on the 53-man.

The Falcons were thin across the defensive line in New Orleans with Dante Fowler (knee) still on IR, Bullard in concussion protocol and Steven Means knocked out with a knee injury in the fourth quarter. If these three can return this week prior to the trip to Dallas this weekend, the Atlanta defensive front will be as healthy and deep as it's been in a while.

What was interesting about these moves, however, was the release of former third round pick of the 2018 Draft, Senat. The defensive lineman never broke the proverbial glass ceiling with the Falcons, as he was routinely a healthy scratch throughout much of his time in Atlanta. It seems the Falcons have finally decided to cut ties, and look in other directions for their defensive line depth. In retrospect, the organization had already been doing this before the current staff even got to Atlanta, with Senat only playing in seven games through 2019 and 2020 after seeing action in 15 his rookie year.


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