NOV 21 BATTLE FOR THE SOUTH Coming off their bye week, the Atlanta Falcons are in a position to reclaim the top spot in the race for the NFC South. Despite currently riding a three-game losing streak and having lost six of their past eight, a win on Sunday versus the New Orleans Saints would push them atop the division.
The Falcons currently sit in second behind only the Saints after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-14 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, which has them with a 4-6 record like Atlanta. However, thanks to the Falcons' Week 6 win, the Buccaneers sit in third-place.
Kickoff between the Falcons is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
NOV 12 BIJAN SCORES TD After much conversation about Bijan Robinson and his red zone usage, the rookie has run for a five-yard touchdown in the second quarter against the Arizona Cardinals.
Bijan Robinson gets the ball from the five yard line and guess what?— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) November 12, 2023
He scored a touchdown. pic.twitter.com/EPgS6OxPNd
The Falcons lead 14-6 midway through the second quarter.
NOV 7 FALCONS SWAP LINEBACKERS The Atlanta Falcons have signed linebacker Andre Smith Jr. and waived linebacker Tae Davis, per release.
Smith Jr. has spent much of this season on Atlanta's practice squad but has seen action in three games, playing 51 total snaps on special teams and adding three additional defensive snaps. The six-year veteran has recorded one tackle this season.
Davis has played in all but one game, Week 8 against the Tennessee Titans when he was out with a concussion. He's played 83 percent of Atlanta's special teams snaps but been on the field for just one defensive snap.
The Falcons carry only three inside linebackers on their roster, with Kaden Elliss and Nate Landman serving as the starters.
Now, Smith Jr. replaces Davis as their lead backup and special teams ace, starting Sunday at 4:05 p.m. EST against the Arizona Cardinals.
NOV 6 CARDINALS COULD START MURRAY VS. FALCONS Arizona Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon announced Monday that Kyler Murray, who's missed the entire season recovering from a torn ACL last year, will start at quarterback Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons "if all goes well" in practice.
Murray will take reps with Arizona's starters in practice, Gannon said, and if he's physically able to play, he will.
The Cardinals started fifth-round rookie Clayton Tune at quarterback in this past Sunday's 27-0 loss to the Cleveland Browns. Josh Dobbs, who beat the Falcons as the Minnesota Vikings' signal caller, held the starting spot in Arizona for the first eight weeks.
With Murray back in the mix, life gets more difficult for Atlanta - and the stakes are only growing greater as Sunday's 4:05 p.m. EST kick nears.
NOV 1 FALCONS INJURY REPORT As the Falcons are preparing for Sunday's game versus the Minnesota Vikings, they will do so with a healthy Desmond Ridder, who, after exiting the 28-23 loss to the Tennessee Titans due to entering the concussion protocol, has since been cleared and was a full participate on Wednesday.
Despite Ridder clearing concussion protocol, coach Arthur Smith announced earlier Wednesday that Taylor Heinicke will be the new starter at quarterback.
Additionally, receiver Drake London and safety DeMarcco Hellams both missed practice on Wednesday due to injuries, while veteran defensive linemen David Onyemata and Calais Campbell were given the day off.
- QB Desmond Ridder (concussion)
- LB Tae Davis (concussion)
- FB Keith Smith (concussion)
-CB Mike Hughes (shoulder)
Did Not Participate
- WR Drake London (groin)
- S DeMarcco Hellams (hamstring)
- DT David Onyemata (rest)
- DT Calais Campbell (rest)
NOV 1 FALCONS PUT LACALE LONDON ON INJURED RESERVE The Atlanta Falcons have placed defensive tackle LaCale London on injured reserve, coach Arthur Smith announced at Wednesday's press conference.
London prematurely departed last Sunday's 28-23 loss to the Tennessee Titans with a knee injury. His loss comes two days after the Falcons put fellow defensive tackle Grady Jarrett on injured reserve with a torn ACL.
Atlanta claimed defensive tackle Travis Bell off the Chicago Bears' practice squad Tuesday to help restore the sudden lack of interior depth.
OCT 31 VIKINGS NAME JAREN HALL STARTER VS. FALCONS The Atlanta Falcons will once again face a backup quarterback this weekend.
Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Minnesota Vikings have announced that sixth-round rookie Jaren Hall will start Sunday against the Falcons.
Kirk Cousins was placed on injured reserve with a torn Achilles and the team traded for Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Dobbs, but Hall will draw his first NFL start on Sunday.
OCT 30 ARTHUR SMITH TO NAME STARTING QB WEDNESDAY The Atlanta Falcons could have a quarterback controversy on their hands.
After Desmond Ridder suffered a concussion in Sunday's loss against the Tennessee Titans, Taylor Heinicke relieved him and out-performed him, causing a potential change in quarterbacks.
Coach Arthur Smith told reporters after the game that Ridder's removal from the game wasn't based on performance, but he never re-entered the game despite clearing concussion protocols.
Smith told reporters on Monday that he will reveal his starting quarterback on Wednesday.
OCT 29 RIDDER CONCUSSED; HEINICKE IN The Atlanta Falcons are making a change at quarterback.
Desmond Ridder entered the NFL's concussion protocol and Taylor Heinicke is in at quarterback.
In his first drive, Heinicke threw one pass for seven yards. The Falcons trail 14-6 midway through the third quarter.
OCT 25 LEVIS PREPARING TO START SUNDAY The Atlanta Falcons could be facing a rookie quarterback in his NFL debut on Sunday.
Per NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, the Tennessee Titans are preparing second-round pick Will Levis to start Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.
Ryan Tannehill is dealing with an ankle injury, and second-year pro Malik Willis is on the depth chart, but struggled in earlier opportunities. Now, the Titans have a chance to see what they have in Levis and the Falcons will give him his first taste of the NFL.
OCT 24 FALCONS SIGN LACALE LONDON The Atlanta Falcons are making a small change to their 53-man roster.
According to NFL insider Aaron Wilson, the Falcons are signing nose tackle LaCale London. In a corresponding move, the team is cutting defensive lineman Eli Ankou.
London, 26, had been on the practice squad since the end of training camp.
OCT 23 TITANS THROWBACKS VS. FALCONS The Tennessee Titans will look a little different when they play the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
The Titans will wear Houston Oilers throwback jerseys when they host the Falcons at Nissan Stadium.
The throwback Houston Oilers uniforms that the Tennessee Titans will wear Sunday at home vs. the Falcons: pic.twitter.com/8p2TRcHSzZ— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 23, 2023
The Titans began their franchise history as the Houston Oilers in 1960, before moving to Nashville in 1996.
The franchise then spent two seasons as the Tennessee Oilers in 1997 and 1998, before renaming themselves as the Tennessee Titans in 1999.
OCT 22 FUMBLE! FUMBLE! The Atlanta Falcons are playing in their biggest game of the year so far against their NFC South rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The offenses for each team have coughed up the football in critical moments in the third quarter.
First, it was Bucs receiver Deven Thompkins who fumbled the ball in Tampa territory, giving the Falcons great field position.
Atlanta marched down inside the Bucs' 5-yard line, but quarterback Desmond Ridder lost the snap and lost out on a big opportunity to take the lead back.
The Falcons and Bucs are tied 10-10 in the third quarter.
OCT 19 FALCONS CUT HAWKINS A former member of the Atlanta Falcons is struggling.
Earlier this week, the Falcons cut defensive back Jaylinn Hawkins, who quickly found a home off waivers with the Los Angeles Chargers. However, Hawkins was carted off the field in Thursday's practice, according to ESPN's Kris Rihm.
Hawkins, 26, was a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and was in the final year of his rookie contract. He appeared in all six games so far this season for Atlanta but played in just 29 defensive snaps. His role was reduced with the addition of Jessie Bates III.
Now, Hawkins searches for his next NFL home.
OCT 15 RIDDER THROWS BRUTAL INTERCEPTION The Atlanta Falcons were putting together their second consecutive scoring drive while eyeing a 14-point fourth quarter comeback ... until red zone disarray.
An incomplete pass on 2nd and Goal from the one-yard line was followed by a delay of game, and on 3rd and Goal from the six, Ridder was intercepted by Washington Commanders defensive back Benjamin St-Juste.
It was Ridder's second interception of the day and the first of St-Juste's career.
OCT 4 ALI OUT, ANKOU IN The Atlanta Falcons have placed receiver Josh Ali on injured reserve and signed defensive tackle Eli Ankou off the Buffalo Bills' practice squad.
Ali did not travel to London with the Falcons last week after missing practice with an ankle injury. Atlanta now has four receivers on its active roster, though it signed Frank Darby to the practice squad Tuesday and has three other wideouts - Zay Malone, C.J. Johnson and Chris Blair - currently on the practice squad.
Ankou, 29, spent two brief stints with the Falcons in 2021. The 6-3, 325-pound Ankou has played in 33 career games with three starts, collecting 43 tackles, three tackles for loss, three quarterback hits and two and a half sacks.
SEP 27 MATTHEWS MONEY MOVES The Falcons have just worked and finished the restructuring of Jake Matthews' contract in a way that creates about $7 million in 2023 cap room. That figures to give Atlanta about $10 million now ... so, what's it for?
This is likely a "flip-of-the-switch" change that doesn't truly alter the amount of money due the standout lineman. And of course, this can be about money available in future years, and not just this one. It would be slightly unconventional for a team to make this move in clear advance of a trade; generally the two transactions would go hand-in-hand.
But this bears watching as the Falcons at 2-1 consider themselves contenders ... and could understandably be looking to upgrade the roster.
SEP 26 FALCONS ADD STORM NORTON FROM SAINTS Atlanta Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot has gone back to his old stomping grounds in search of improvement on the offensive line.
Per NFL Network, the Falcons signed offensive tackle Storm Norton off the New Orleans Saints' practice squad and onto the active roster.
In correspondence, Atlanta placed starting linebacker Troy Andersen (pectoral muscle) on the injured reserve.
Norton started 15 of 17 games at right tackle for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2021 but has largely operated as a reserve since entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2017.
With the Falcons, Norton provides depth to an offensive line that just allowed seven sacks in Sunday's 20-6 loss to the Detroit Lions. Atlanta's current reserve tackle is Isaiah Prince, who was inactive against Detroit.
SEP 25 TRISTAN VIZCAINO WORKOUT The Atlanta Falcons are bringing in some kicking competition. According to Black Label Sports Group, the Falcons are trying out kicker Tristan Vizcaino.
Vizcaino, 27, has kicked in 10 games across the last three seasons for the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Chargers, Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots.
The move comes after Younghoe Koo missed a 47-yard field goal against the Detroit Lions.
SEP 24 USHER HALFTIME SHOW Atlanta-based artist Usher will be the headlining performer at the 2024 Super Bowl Halftime show.
“It’s an honor of a lifetime to finally check a Super Bowl performance off my bucket list. I can’t wait to bring the world a show unlike anything else they’ve seen from me before,” said Usher. “Thank you to the fans and everyone who made this opportunity happen. I’ll see you real soon.”
The game takes place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Sunday, February 11, 2024, and is airing on CBS.
SEP 20 STEELERS SIGN IGWEBUIKE The Atlanta Falcons are saying goodbye to one of their practice squad members.
According to NFL insider Mike Garafolo, the Pittsburgh Steelers are signing Godwin Igwebuike.
Igwebuike, 29, appeared in the Falcons' Week 1 win against the Carolina Panthers but was cut and re-signed to the practice squad shortly after being released. In a corresponding move, the Falcons signed training camp running back Carlos Washington Jr. to the practice squad.
SEP 18 FALCONS RE-SIGN HARRIS The Atlanta Falcons are bringing back a familiar face.
According to NFL insider Aaron Wilson, the Falcons are re-signing defensive end Demone Harris.
Harris, 27, was cut on Aug. 29 ahead of the final 53-man roster reveal. Now, he re-joins the Falcons to give the team more depth up front.
SEP 11 MATT RYAN TV DEBUT After not signing with a new team this offseason, former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan made his television analyst debut alongside Andrew Catalon and Tiki Barber on CBS, calling the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Minnesota Vikings game.
During a conversation just before the second half, Catalon made a comment to Ryan, which referenced the Falcons' Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots in 2017, where Atlanta led 28-3 late in the third quarter.
Matt Ryan made his broadcasting debut today ... and they really didn't have to do this to him.— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 10, 2023
Ryan's face as soon as "28-3" comes out of his mouth 😂pic.twitter.com/FdoT16JDKo
“In the booth with Matt Ryan and Tiki Barber,” Catalon said. "We were just chomping some burgers at halftime, saying this game feels like it should be 28-3 in favor of Minnesota. Why is it still 10-10?”
The Falcons infamously lost the Super Bowl, and it has become a lowlight on Ryan's Hall-of-Fame resume. Ryan appeared not to appreciate the comment, but on TV, he smiled, brushed it off, and called the rest of the game.
SEP 10 RIDLEY SCORES TD The Jacksonville Jaguars are on the board, and it's all thanks to former Atlanta Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley.
It's Ridley's first touchdown since Week 6 of the 2021 season.
SEP 9 FALCONS SIGN IGWEBUIKE The Atlanta Falcons are making some changes to the roster, and are signing a preseason favorite to the 53-man roster.
According to NFL insider Aaron Wilson, the Falcons are signing running back Godwin Igwebuike from the practice squad. In a corresponding move, the team is cutting defensive end Joe Gaziano.
Igwebuike will be available for the Falcons when they face the Carolina Panthers at 1 p.m. on Sunday inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
SEP 6 FALCONS INJURY REPORT The Atlanta Falcons have released their first injury report of the new season as they prepare to host their NFC South rival, the Carolina Panthers, on Sunday.
Under the limited participation, section was starting "joker" Cordarrelle Patterson, who continues to be dealing with a thigh injury that he suffered in the early stages of training camp. Along with the veteran running back was receiver KhaDarel Hodge who was listed with an ankle injury.
As for the non-participants, the Falcons had cornerback Jeff Okudah listed as he continues to rehab from the ankle injury he suffered earlier in camp. In addition to Okudah, tight end Jonnu Smith was also listed, but it wasn't due to injury; rather, it was for a rest day.
SEP 5 FALCONS SIGN DENIS The Atlanta Falcons are making a minor transaction just before the team's season opener Sunday.
The team is moving offensive tackle Barry Wesley from the practice squad to injured reserve and is signing defensive back Lukas Denis in his place.
Denis, 26, was in training camp with the Falcons, but was cut ahead of the 53-man roster deadline.
SEP 4 FALCONS ANNOUNCE CAPTAINS Just days away from their season opener, the Atlanta Falcons have named their captains for this upcoming year.
Per release, the Falcons' captains are safety Jessie Bates III, right guard Chris Lindstrom, defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, left tackle Jake Matthews and kicker Younghoe Koo.
Jarrett, Matthews and Koo are all returning captains, while it's the first time Lindstrom has received the honor. Bates III was a captain in 2021 with the Cincinnati Bengals, and has evidently earned the respect of his teammates in a quick manner after becoming the fourth highest-paid safety in the NFL during free agency.
Last year, cornerback A.J. Terrell and quarterback Marcus Mariota were the Falcons' other two captains; Terrell has had a strong offseason but won't return to the role, while Mariota is now the backup signal caller in Philadelphia Eagles.
The Falcons will begin the season this Sunday, hosting the Carolina Panthers at 1 p.m. inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
SEP 2 PRIMETIME UPSET Atlanta Falcons legend Deion Sanders is quieting critics after his Colorado coaching debut with a 45-42 upset victory over last year's National Championship runner-up TCU.
Sanders' son, Shedeur, threw for 510 yards in the victory.
Colorado returns home next week for its Boulder opener against Nebraska. Kickoff is set for 12 noon.
AUG 29 FALCONS WORKOUT EX-PATRIOTS CB BUTLER The Atlanta Falcons brought in former New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler for a workout on Tuesday, according to a report by KPRC 2 Houston's Aaron Wilson.
Butler, 33, made a name for himself by making the game-winning interception for the Patriots against the Seattle Seahawks on the goal line in Super Bowl XLIX.
Yet, Butler hasn't played in an NFL game since 2020, when he was with the Tennessee Titans, after spending the last two seasons on the practice squads with the Arizona Cardinals and Patriots.
During his final year with the Titans, Butler started in 16 games, totaling 100 tackles, one for a loss, four interceptions, and 14 passes defended.
AUG 21 BLANK BUYS GOLF TEAM Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank is adding to his portfolio.
In a video posted on social media, Blank announced that there would be an Atlanta franchise for the TGL, a league built by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.
The league begins its first season in 2024.
AUG 19 JIMMY GRAHAM ARRESTED A rival of the Atlanta Falcons is in trouble with the law.
According to TMZ Sports, New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham has been arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance and resisting, delaying and obstructing a police officer.
Graham, 36, played for the Saints from 2010-14 but returned in 2023 after not playing in the NFL last season.
Graham's first game with the Saints against the Falcons comes on Nov. 26 in Atlanta.
AUG 14 FALCONS SIGN AUSTIN The Atlanta Falcons are adding to their secondary.
The team announced that it is signing cornerback Bless Austin.
Austin, 27, was drafted in the sixth round by the New York Jets in 2019 and played 18 games with the team in his first two NFL seasons. In 2021, he appeared in 11 games for the Seattle Seahawks.
Last year, Austin was cut by the Denver Broncos before the season began and never caught on to a new home ... until now with the Falcons.
AUG 12 RIDLEY'S BACK Calvin Ridley had two catches while playing in his NFL first game in nearly two years as part of the Jacksonville Jaguars' 28-23 win at the Dallas Cowboys in a preseason opener.
Ridley, playing with quarterback Trevor Lawrence, appeared for the first time since Oct. 24, 2021, when he stepped away from the Atlanta Falcons to address his mental health. He was suspended for the entire 2022 season because of gambling, and then the Jaguars traded two draft picks to acquire him in late last year.
As Falcons fans know, Ridley caught 90 passes for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020 ... and he looks like he might be on the path to getting back there.
AUG 6 'DEION MOLDED ME!' The New England Patriots made headlines when they selected cornerback Isaiah Bolden with their final pick of the 2023 NFL Draft as Bolden - who played at Jackson State - was the first and only player from a HBCU selected in this year's draft.
His college coach Deion Sanders chastised the NFL for ignoring HBCU players. But now, Bolden is working to make his mark, and is making it clear that "Coach Prime,'' now the coach at Colorado, is due a great deal of credit for his path to the Patriots.
“I believed in his mission and believed in his goals,” Bolden said of moving to Jackson State. “He had a blueprint for me ... He molded me into a pro and he’s raw. He’s going to tell you how he feels and what he sees in you and there’s no sugarcoating it. He’s just trying to get you prepared for the next level.”
AUG 4 KAMARA SUSPENDED In a move that could shift the balance of power in the NFC South, Saints running back Alvin Kamara has been suspended three games for violations of the personal conduct policy.
That, of course, is a polite way of putting it. So is saying that he "played a role in an altercation around the time of the 2022 Pro Bowl," as NFL Network phrases it.
The truth: Kamara was the central henchman in a brutal group beatdown of a man at a hotel in Las Vegas. ... featuring video that is disturbing.
Kamara had pleaded his case down to a misdemeanor and has settled his civil suit and said on Friday, “I was completely wrong.”
TMZ released the video of the Alvin Kamara fight pic.twitter.com/FtmR95bp2P— Fantasy Couch (@fantasycouch) November 5, 2022
The NFL's system of jurisprudence is wonky, to say the least. One-game suspension for this, lifetime suspension for that ... Kamara gets three games - and yes, all indications are, he was indeed "completely wrong."