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Atlanta still has one open roster spot to fill, may pivot to receiver

It doesn’t sound like a defensive lineman is looming, though.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons put Jack Crawford on injured reserve about a week ago, leaving them with one open roster spot. It was fair to wonder what they might do with that opening.

I figured they’d sign one of the five defensive linemen they worked out last week, as I mentioned over the weekend. The reason for this was simple enough: The Falcons figured to be down Crawford and then possibly Courtney Upshaw, and that would leave them a bit thin on the interior.

That doesn’t appear to be the direction the team is heading in, if Dan Quinn’s comments Monday are any indication. With Courtney Upshaw apparently on track to return and the team feeling comfortable enough with Joe Vellano, Derrick Shelby, and hell, Ben Garland on the interior behind their starters to forego a signing. Instead, it looks like the open roster spot could go to help the Falcons shore up another immediate need like receiver, where the Falcons figure to be without Mohamed Sanu.

Knowing the Falcons aren’t prioritizing defensive line help at the moment, it seems likely they’ll just bring on a receiver. They have Marvin Hall and Reggie Davis on the practice squad, and there’s plenty of middling free agents who could hang around a week or two as the Falcons need. Given that Sanu didn’t even put a helmet on for practice yesterday, chances are pretty good the move will be receiver, especially after Taylor Gabriel, Justin Hardy and Nick Williams combined for an uninspiring stat line against the Bills.

I still expect the Falcons to make that move soon, even if it’s just calling up Marvin Hall from the practice squad, but they’ve been in absolutely no rush to this point and would not really struggle to beat Miami with a 52 man roster. Stay tuned.