The Atlanta Falcons have addressed their defensive line depth, which looked like a bit of a problem with both Vic Beasley and Courtney Upshaw sidelined. They’ve done so by bringing defensive tackle Joe Vellano up from the practice squad, and in a corresponding move, they’ve cut ties with cornerback Deji Olatoye.
Vellano is a logical choice for this week because the Falcons are deeper at end than they are at defensive tackle, where Courtney Upshaw was a useful role player. He’s not going to get a ton of snaps, but he’ll ensure the Falcons don’t have to turn to Ben Garland at the position if injury or fatigue strikes. In all likelihood, he’ll only be here a short time before the Falcons look to put him back on the practice squad.
The Olatoye cut is a bit of a surprise, as I’d opined that Blidi Wreh-Wilson seemed like the likelier departure given that he’s been inactive each of the first two weeks of the season. Chances are the Falcons are going to try to get Olatoye on to the practice squad, where I don’t believe Wreh-Wilson has eligibility, and he and Vellano may well swap places again in a week or two. Unless another team scoops him up, I don’t expect Olatoye to be truly gone.
Falcons waived Deji Olatoye and and moved up DT Joe Vellano from practice squad, with Courtney Upshaw out.— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) September 21, 2017
We’ll have to see if Upshaw winds up having a multi-week injury, but it’s good to see the Falcons addressing line depth, even if it’s not the Dwight Freeney signing everyone’s still hoping for.