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Falcons claim QB Danny Etling

The Falcons filled the roster spot left open by the Eric Saubert trade with another quarterback.

Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

If you’re just assuming the Falcons’ backup quarterback job is Matt Schaub’s, pump the brakes. There’s a new quarterback joining Schaub and Matt Simms in Atlanta.

The Atlanta Falcons announced Wednesday that they have claimed former New England Patriots’ quarterback Danny Etling.

Last week, The Athletic’s Jason Butt mentioned that the Falcons were a team to watch in the Etling sweepstakes, saying via Twitter:

If there’s one thing the Falcons love, it’s adding former LSU players to the roster. He joins fellow former Tigers Deion Jones, Duke Riley, Russell Gage, and Ronald Martin in Atlanta.

The Falcons had an available roster spot after trading tight end Eric Saubert to the New England Patriots. They’ve shaken it up with Etling and the addition of Matt Simms after backup Kurt Benkert was sent to injured reserve with a toe injury.

Etling has a good arm and is also a solid athlete. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and the team moved him to wide receiver briefly before his release. In the Patriots’ first preseason game of 2019, Etling had one target.

With the Falcons already having a full load at wide receiver, he’ll likely switch back to his original quarterback position. The team currently has three active quarterbacks in Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub and Matt Simms. If Etling sticks around, he will likely spend a year learning on the practice squad and battle it out with Kurt Benkert and Matt Schaub in 2020 for the backup quarterback spot.