The Falcons came out of the cutdown to 53 with only three running backs, which many of us expected. The fact that one of those three backs was Terron Ward, and that the team hasn't confirmed any RB signings for the practice squad, qualifies as a bigger surprise.
That has naturally led to speculation that the Falcons will consider signing another back, and while we wait to see if Mike Gillislee is actually going to land on the practice squad as previously reported, we can add another name to the pile.
#Atlanta Falcons one of the teams that has expressed some interest in free agent Monte Ball. Hope he gets fresh start and revives career— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) September 7, 2015
Why it makes sense
Devonta Freeman should be ready to go for Week 1, but he hasn't played at all in the preseason, and Ward is not an inspiring option after he turned a hyped-about training camp into a so-so preseason. The Falcons will likely get all three backs in at some point during the game, but unless Ward impresses early, he's probably a better practice squad stash as a developmental back than anything else.
Ball has had a disappointing career to this point, but he did average 4.7 yards per carry in his rookie season, and was beaten out thanks to a combination of C.J. Anderson's rapid rise and injury more so than performance, and Denver loves to churn through its backs.
Why it doesn't make sense
That said, he looked slow and indecisive throughout much of the preseason, including a 16 carry, 27 yard performance to cap Week 4, and the reality is that there may not be the tremendous upside the Broncos hoped for with Ball, even if he's just 24 years old. I'd legitimately question if Ball is a massive upgrade over Ward, even if the former is arguably a better blocker, and he's certainly no better than the third back on this roster unless he gets his stuff together in a hurry.
I don't doubt the Falcons are interested in Ball, so I'd view this as a distinct possibility. Call it a coin flip, however, because A) Ward has shown the coaching staff enough to stick around, at least, and has been working with this offense all offseason and B) I'm not sure Ball's enough of an upgrade that the Falcons will prioritize him over other signings. Call it a coin flip.