The Falcons are forever shuffling their practice squad, but some moves are more surprising than others. Atlanta has let go of linebacker Jake Carlock, who they just signed last week, and brought back a couple of familiar faces.
The first is Devin Gray, a longtime summer fixture and practice squad player for the Falcons who spent time with the team throughout the past two seasons after signing as an undrafted free agent in 2018. The sure-handed Gray was a summer standout who reeled in 7 catches for 107 yards in 2019, but found himself behind Olamide Zaccheaus and Christian Blake in the team’s pecking order. With Julio Jones looming as a gametime decision for Sunday, Gray could be flexed to the active roster to help out a receiving corps that was embarrassingly ineffective against the Saints.
Brooks-James, meanwhile, was a summer standout in 2019 as a runner and potential returner for the Falcons, but wound up being cut and bounced around to a bunch of different practice squads. He was a well-rounded back at Oregon, contributing to a dynamic offense as both a runner and receiver, and did nice work as a kick returner in his junior and senior seasons, when he averaged 25.7 and 26.1 yards per return, respectively. With Brandon Powell struggling as a kick returner and the ground game going nowhere, Brooks-James could also be an option to be flexed to the roster this week, though I’d consider him less likely to wind up there than Gray.
Welcome these two former Falcons back into the fold, and we’ll see what kind of roles they have for Atlanta in the weeks ahead.