ATLANTA --The preseason finale – a 13-7 loss to the Jaguars – gives NFL players fighting for roster spots one last chance to make a name for themselves. And defensive end Chris Odom and linebacker Jermaine Grace did that on Thursday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Both Odom and Grace made noteworthy plays at different times throughout the games. The two combined for 16 tackles, two passes defensed, one sack, an interception and a quarterback hit.
Grace's play of the night came in the middle of the second quarter when he dropped back into coverage and picked off Jaguars quarterback Brandon Allen – Atlanta's second interception of the night.
After suffering an injury that prevented him from being able to play in the Falcons' second preseason game and see limited time in the third game, Grace certainly made up for his missed time.
"At the end of the day, you're never perfect but I feel like I've left everything out [there]," Grace said. "From April to now -- on the field and off the field -- to be successful and make this team."
Not only has head coach Dan Quinn been pleased with what he's seen from Grace at the linebacker position, Grace's contributions on special teams have garnered attention as well – making him even more valuable.
"From way back in May to tonight, I felt a guy who was really going for it every chance," Quinn said. "That's really all we ask. Now that we are finally seeing him healthy again, he fits into what we do at linebacker and special teams as well. We're excited about what we think he can develop into."
Not only did Odom register his second sack of the preseason, he contributed to Sharrod Neasman's interception – Atlanta's third of the night. Odom tipped the ball back into the end zone, allowing Neasman to finish the job.
At the end of the day, Odom knows he controlled what he could, and that's enough for him, no matter what happens.
"I thought I was really productive tonight," Odom said. "That's all I can go off of now and just wait to see what happens in the next 48 hours."
Quinn and Dimitroff will spend the next two days assembling their roster and practice squad for the 2017 season. The Falcons have until 4 p.m. ET on Saturday to finalize their 53-man roster.