When the Atlanta Falcons signed LaRoy Reynolds, they knew they were getting a solid reserve who could start in a pinch, plus a core special teamer. It’s fair to say they’ve missed him with Duke Riley’s struggles and then injury, and their lack of trust in Kemal Ishmael as a starting linebacker in his absence. Thankfully, he’s back.
Reynolds, 26, put up 30 tackles a year ago for Atlanta, and was one of the building blocks of the special teams unit along with Ishmael and C.J. Goodwin. Now that he’s back, he’s a mortal lock to take the 15-20 special teams snaps currently going to Jermaine Grace, and he’ll almost certainly get some time on the field at linebacker if he’s healthy enough. He should be ahead of Kemal Ishmael on the pecking order, if last weekend’s game was any indication, and he may also be ahead of the recently-signed Sean Weatherspoon.
His real impact, though, will come on special teams, which has been an area of weakness at times in 2017. Reynolds played well on teams in 2016 and should do so again if he’s healthy, adding a little stability to Keith Armstrong’s area of expertise. Any upgrades, no matter how small, are welcome at this point in the season.
To make room for him on the roster, the team has placed Jordan Tripp on injured reserve. Tripp chiefly played special teams during his short stint in Atlanta, and appears to be dealing with the fallout of yet another concussion, which is deeply concerning for his career prospects and long-term health. I’m hopeful he’ll be able to rest, recover, and be able to make a decision he’s comfortable with about his future.
Welcome back, LaRoy Reynolds. Good luck, Jordan Tripp.