The Atlanta Falcons have not had the best injury luck in 2019, much as they did not have the best injury luck in 2019. They’ve lost first round rookie and vital offensive lineman Chris Lindstrom, lost Keanu Neal to injured reserve for the second straight year, now have to forge ahead without punter Matt Bosher, and have seen injuries both major and minor pile up around them.
The latest is so absurdly timed as to almost be unbelievable. Johanathan Cyprien, the veteran safety the Falcons traded for just over a week ago, is hitting injured reserve.
Falcons place Johnathan Cyprien on IR. Just traded for him— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) October 8, 2019
The Falcons surrendered Duke Riley and a sixth round pick, getting Cyprien and a seventh round pick in return. In exchange for that, they got one week of Cyprien playing 30-something snaps in the defense’s worst performance of the year, and now he’s headed to the shelf. Atlanta may very well try to re-sign him next year, but obviously this has to be incredibly frustrating for Cyprien and crazy-making for the Falcons, who thought they had added a veteran safety to the mix who could contribute after they lost J.J. Wilcox over the summer and Neal earlier in the season. Now they’re back to square one.
The Falcons could still bring in a veteran like T.J. McDonald or George Iloka, or they could give Sharrod Neasman or practice squad promotion Jamal Carter time on defense to spell Kemal Ishmael, who has been far from the team’s biggest liability in the secondary over the last couple of weeks. Whatever road they choose, this safety position—and this season—are once again starting to feel cursed.
UPDATE: The Falcons made two other moves, as well.
Wetzel is a very familiar face, as he’s been bouncing off and on the roster over and over again in 2019. He’s unlikely to get on the field on Sunday against his former team, the Cardinals, but he’ll be available going forward in case the offensive line needs more help. It’s a likely sign that Jamon Brown is not coming back just yet and that more depth is needed.
The other move is a little more surprising. Former Chiefs sixth round pick and Atlanta native D.J. White had to be poached off the Eagles practice squad to join the team, and his signing is likely a sign that Blidi Wreh-Wilson will not be returning to the field soon. White picked up 11 tackles and an interception for the Chiefs in 2016, played a little for the Colts in 2017, and hadn’t gotten on the field in either 2018 or 2019. He’s fairly young and a good athlete, but he’ll likely be inactive for at least a couple of weeks with five healthy cornerbacks ahead of him on the roster.