|Falcons coach Mike Smith has to cut his team down to 53 by 9 p.m. Friday. (AP Images)|
The Falcons roster has been extremely fluid the past couple days with roster cuts down to 75 and the signing of QB Luke McCown. Nonetheless, the final roster is beginning to take shape for coach Mike Smith. The Falcons have one more preseason game and have already pledged to rest most of their starters, giving borderline roster players one more chance to impress the coaches.
QB -- In: (3) Matt Ryan, McCown, Dominique Davis Out: None. Analysis: Even though the Falcons typically carry just two quarterbacks, the guess here is they’ll keep Davis on the active roster rather than expose him to waiver claims. Should they risk it, the Falcons would jeopardize their chances of keeping him on the practice squad. His preseason has been too good to risk it. McCown was offically listed as the No. 2 QB for Thursday's game against Jacksonville.
RB -- In: (4) Michael Turner, Jason Snelling, Mike Cox, Jacquizz Rodgers Out: Dimitri Nance, Antone Smith, Lousaka Polite. Analysis: The final spot will come down to either fullbacks Mike Cox or Lousaka Polite. Neither would probably have been in the running if not for Bradie Ewing's ACL injury earlier this preseason. They should both see extended time Thursday night vs. Jacksonville.
WR -- In: (5) Roddy White, Julio Jones, Harry Douglas, Kerry Meier, Drew Davis. Out: Kevin Cone, Marcus Jackson, Tim Toone. Analysis: Meier’s leg injury has kept him out of the three preseason games, giving either Toone or Marcus Jackson a chance to make the team. Toone had a 39-yard touchdown catch from Dominique Davis in the third preseason game, and Jackson excelled against Cincinnati, making three catches for 40 yards.
OL -- In: (9) Sam Baker, Justin Blalock, Todd McClure, Garrett Reynolds, Tyson Clabo, Joe Hawley, Peter Konz, Lamar Holmes, Mike Johnson Out: Phillipkeith Manley, Tyler Horn, Bryce Harris, Andrew Jackson. Analysis: The real intrigue with this group is which player -- Reynolds or Konz -- will earn the starting RG position.
DL -- In: (10) John Abraham, Peria Jerry, Jonathan Babineaux, Ray Edwards, Lawrence Sidbury, Vance Walker, Kroy Biermann, Jonathan Massaquoi, Travian Robertson, Cliff Matthews Out: Micanor Regis, Conrad Obi. Analysis: DT Corey Peters was added to the reserve/non-football related injury list on Monday, potentially giving another spot to someone along the defensive line. That spot may go to Matthews, or it could end up being another running back.
LB -- In: (6) Sean Weatherspoon, Akeem Dent, Mike Peterson, Stephen Nicholas, Spencer Adkins, Robert James. Out: Rico Council, Pat Schiller, Jerrell Harris. Analysis: James and Adkins will contribute on special teams, much the same way Akeem Dent did last season for the Falcons.
CB/S -- In: (11) Dunta Robinson, Asante Samuel, Brent Grimes, William Moore, Thomas DeCoud, Chris Hope, Shann Schillinger, Dominique Franks, Chris Owens, Charles Mitchell, Peyton Thompson. Out: Robert McClain, Marty Markett, Suaesi Tuimaunei. Analysis: Mitchell, the team's sixth-round pick, should stick in the Falcons secondary. He had two tackles in the third preseason game, and Atlanta's coaches have been pleased with his productivity. Mitchell is currently the backup free safety; Sillinger missed Friday's game with a foot injury.
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