With the team's top two running backs banged up, they're planning to add a free agent to help them weather the next couple of weeks, per Vaughn McClure at ESPN.
Falcons signing RB Mike Ford with Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman nursing hamstring injuries— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) August 7, 2015
UPDATE: The Falcons have confirmed the move, along with others.
The Falcons have made several roster moves, including waiving WR Freddie Martino: http://t.co/hIjs5X9CgP— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) August 7, 2015
Ford, 25, spent the 2013 season with the Bears, getting into 12 games primarily as a special teamer. He was reasonably well-regarded coming out of LSU and has nice measurables, and he'll probably get some preseason snaps, though it might not be as soon as this coming Friday against the Titans.
In case you're wondering why the Falcons didn't sign a more notable name, the reason is pretty obvious. Ford probably isn't going to make this team, the Falcons are very happy with Coleman, Freeman, and Antone Smith as their top three backs, and rookie Terron Ward has impressed to the point where he might be in the running for the fourth back gig. They simply don't need another back for the long haul unless either Freeman or Coleman's injuries turn into something more grave.
Martino was one of the more effective rookie wide receivers the Falcons tried out a year ago, and he wound up sticking around in some form all of last year. He figured to compete for a role this season, but with an increasingly crowded receiver depth chart, he was always likely to be one of the odd men out, particularly when you consider Bernard Reedy's superior special teams value. We wish Martino well, and hope he lands someplace where he'll shine.
The other two moves are all about swapping one tight end out for another. Beau Gardner was unfortunately injured recently and will receive a settlement, and hopefully he can latch on with another team. DJ Tialavea was an undrafted free agent from the 2014 class who bounced between the Bills and Jaguars, and is most likely going to serve as a camp and preseason body for this team. The Falcons are unlikely to keep more than three tight ends, so perhaps Tialavea can push his way to a practice squad spot.
Thoughts on these moves?