The Falcons, like every other NFL team, are limited in terms of the number of workouts they can hold per week right now. That’s because the specter of COVID-19 has become a little more real with the outbreak sweeping the Titans and cropping up one or two players a time on teams like the Falcons, Chiefs, and Patriots.
So far, they appear to be making the most of those workouts, as this week we’ve seen reports that they’re planning to sign both veteran safety J.J. Wilcox and 2020 UDFA linebacker John Houston.
The Falcons hosted LB John Houston for a visit today as he will now begin the updated six-day window for COVID-19 testing. The club plans to sign him, although it’s too early to tell if it will be to the 53-man roster or practice squad due to the longer wait and new guidelines.— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) October 7, 2020
As Jason Butt of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes above, Atlanta’s bound to wait six days, so even if they were interested in adding Houston to the active roster, it would have to wait until next week. More than likely, though, the linebacker is headed to the practice squad to serve as a developmental option for the team.
Houston’s calling cards per scouting reports are his above-average instincts, excellent hand usage when engaging with blockers, and solid athleticism. He is not overly big or incredibly fast and was knocked over and over again in pre-draft and post-draft writeups for not being capable of swiftly changing direction, which allowed running backs in particular to juke him out of plays entirely. Dan Quinn and company will, for as long as they’re in Atlanta, get a closer look at Houston and see if he can develop into a quality reserve for them, but I wouldn’t expect him to sniff the active roster unless injury becomes a factor. Deion Jones is established and both Foye Oluokun and Mykal Walker have had some impressive games in the early going, while LaRoy Reynolds is a core special teamer.
Give Houston a preemptive welcome to Atlanta, and we should see him join the team sometime next week.