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Falcons sign linebacker and special teamer Jordan Tripp

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The 26-year-old linebacker provides depth and will compete for snaps with Jermaine Grace and Kemal Ishmael.

NFL: Green Bay Packers-Training Camp Jim Matthews-USA TODAY NETWORK

Way back in 2014, I had the Falcons picking linebacker Jordan Tripp in the NFL Draft in my mock. Years later, he actually wound up joining the team. That’s wild.

Tripp is joining Atlanta because they have an open spot thanks to LaRoy Reynolds hitting injured reserve with a pectoral injury. The Falcons have Kemal Ishmael and Jermaine Grace as depth, so this signing seems a little bit unnecessary, but it’s worth remembering that Ishmael is a recently converted linebacker and Grace is an unproven talent at this point. Clearly, Dan Quinn and Marquand Manuel felt more comfortable adding the 26-year-old to the mix and ensuring they had an experienced linebacker (he’s played 34 games, starting two) and special teamer available.

It’s the special teams experience that will probably be his ticket to playing time early, as teams have talked up his willingness and ability to play on teams at every stop in his career. He’s less of a factor on defense, where he’s a solid tackler with some range, and not much else.

Tripp could very well be a gameday inactive Week 1, but chances are he’ll push to be active sooner than later, particularly against his old Packers team in Week 2. As we noted yesterday, Jermaine Grace could be a useful, long-term reserve for Atlanta if he can just prove himself in the early going. He’s going to have to get past Tripp to do so, which shouldn’t be a tremendous challenge if he can get up to speed on teams earlier than later.

Welcome Tripp to the team, if you would. We’ll see if he gets some time this weekend.