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Austin Larkin rejoins Falcons as Takk McKinley heads to IR

The defensive end who dazzled in preseason gets an extended audition in the final two games.

Atlanta Falcons v Miami Dolphins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

After Dan Quinn said that Takk McKinley would miss the season’s final two games, it was pretty obvious that he’d be heading to injured reserve. Today, that’s happening and we have the corresponding move, which I imagine will be warmly welcomed by Falcons fans.

Austin Larkin is re-joining the team, and I imagine we’ll hear the corresponding practice squad addition in the near future.

Larkin was a standout over the summer, earning practice buzz and playing exceptionally well in preseason games. That wasn’t enough to earn him a permanent spot on the 2019 roster, but he has hung around through much of the year on the practice squad and did earn a brief call-up earlier in the year, where he played 11 special teams snaps.

Now, with McKinley on the shelf, Larkin has a chance to actually play some on Sundays. Jacob Tuioti-Mariner has played and played pretty well at defensive end and the Falcons already have Adrian Clayborn, so Larkin is more likely to stick to special teams for now. It’s still a nice opportunity for him to audition for a larger role next year, when the Falcons’ defensive line figures to be emptied out a bit by free agency, and we’ll hope he can take full advantage.

As for Takk, he finishes the year with 3.5 sacks, but should be back as a starter in 2020. We’ll hope his recovery goes well.