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Fullback Ricky Ortiz waived with injury settlement to make room for Keith Smith

The Falcons make a clear upgrade at fullback with the transaction.

NFL: DEC 30 Falcons at Buccaneers Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Falcons announced their 53-man roster on Saturday. Every year, they tool around with some of the final roster spots. We have seen them scour the waivers for improvements only days before the season starts.

Monday mornings transactions are exactly that. Ricky Ortiz started his undrafted career as an offseason and practice squad player for the Baltimore Ravens from 2017 to 2018. The Falcons signed him to their active roster in 2018. He was known as a solid special teamer but struggled mightily when asked to punch open holes open for the run game.

Ortiz was the most surprising name on the 53-man roster. The Falcons had played Luke Stocker and Qadree Ollison at fullback after Ortiz was injured against Washington. Most teams have moved away from having a dedicated fullback and many guessed Atlanta would do the same. Instead, Ortiz made the roster for a little more than a day.

The Falcons waived Ortiz with an injury settlement to make room for former Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys fullback Keith Smith. Since Ortiz made the final roster, his injury was most likely minor and he should be free to sign elsewhere almost immediately. Whether or not he gets another starting chance in the NFL remains to be seen.

Dan Quinn went into this offseason preaching about the importance running the ball, then hired run-averse coordinator Mike Mularkey. The team has since added four new offensive linemen, has rostered five running backs, and is keeping a fullback. We should see a lot more of the ground game.