The Falcons’ depth issues at linebacker took a major hit on Thursday night when Akeem Dent suffered a concussion with 9:52 remaining in the second quarter. Dent was injured while playing special teams, his primary position last season.
Dent was expected to compete with Lofa Tatupu, the veteran middle linbebacker the Falcons signed in the offseason. Unfortunately, Tatupu tore his pectoral muscle lifting weights before training camp started and further jeopardized the position’s stability.
Falcons head coach Mike Smith said he didn’t regret playing Dent, the team's projected starting middle linebacker, at special teams against the Ravens on Thursday.
“He’s a core special teams player,” Smith said. “He’s our base linebacker. He’s going to have to play some special teams throughout the season. When you are a base player you play about 45 percent of the snaps.”
The Falcons also signed veteran LB Mike Peterson earlier this offseason not only to teach Dent, but also as an insurance measure at the position.
“I’m pretty sure he is [OK],” Peterson said following Thursday’s game.
The Falcons hadn’t updated Dent’s status as of Saturday afternoon but he wasn’t on the field for practice.
Ewing out for season: Rookie fullback Bradie Ewing will be placed on injured reserve on Saturday afternoon after suffering a severe knee injury in Thursday night’s game.
“Bradie is a talented player and I know he and our training staff will do everything they can to ensure a full recovery,” Smith said in a statement.
Ewing was expected to compete with Mike Cox for the starting fullback duties.
Falcons sign two, waive two:
In the wake of Ewing’s season-ending knee injury, the Falcons have signed Lousaka Polite, a seven-year veteran out of Pittsburgh. Polite, who has 296 career rushing yards on 95 carries, has had stints with Dallas, Miami, and New England.
The Falcons also signed Chase Coffman, a former third-round pick of the Bengals in 2009. Coffman has 3 career catches for 30 yards and spent last season with Tampa Bay.
Atlanta waived TE Adam Nissley and P Dawson Zimmerman on Saturday to make roster room.
For more Falcons coverage, follow Mike Singer @CBSSportsNFLATL.