While this weekend has been about the players that will make up the Falcons 53-man roster, it’s easy to forget that only 46 of them can even dress for the game on Sundays.
For those who are unaware, the NFL only allows a team to “dress” 46 of it’s 53 players on any given Sunday. This rule was put in place to try and create competitive balance between teams, knowing that the NFL is a violent sport filled with injuries. In an effort to keep one team from having more active players than another (due to those injuries), the inactive list was created. These seven players are not able to play on Sunday and have to be listed at least one hour before the start of each game. The list can change from week to week, allowing teams to put recently injured players on the list and promoting another to be active in their place.
Knowing this, who might the Falcons put on their inactive list for the first game of the season? Here are some guesses.
S Keanu Neal: This isn’t a guess, actually. Given that the rookie is recovering from surgery, he’s guaranteed to be one of the first players inactive against the Bucs.
WR Nick Williams: As the sixth wide receiver, he’s unlikely to see any offensive snaps, so there’s just no reason to have him active.
TE Josh Perkins: It’s doubtful the team will keep four tight ends active on game day, so the undrafted rookie likely rides the pine.
G Wes Schweitzer: The sixth round rookie has looked good, but Ben Garland has experience at Center and Guard, making him a better backup value.
LB Philip Wheeler: He’s not a starter and his special teams value is less than guys like Worrilow, so he’ll probably sit as well.
DT/DE/LB Courtney Upshaw: This comes down to sheer numbers, and the other names ahead of him are just better overall talents.
LB LaRoy Reynolds: He’s good on special teams, but the team can’t afford to sit players at many other positions.
These are just guesses based on the assumed depth chart, and having an appropriate number of backups at each position. Additionally, it’s entirely possible that the team tries to find another cornerback to put on the roster for game one, which could mean one of these players (likely Perkins) won’t even be on the roster for the first game.
Your thoughts on this projected inactive list?