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Dante Fowler activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list

Atlanta’s pass rush gets some much needed support.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons hoped they had fixed the team’s perma-struggling pass rush in the offseason. Vic Beasley was finally gone, a change many viewed as addition by subtraction. The Falcons then paid Takkarist McKinley with Dante Fowler, Jr. on a deal worth up to $45 million.

Surely that would be a formidable duo.

McKinley, like in seasons past, was quickly injured and created headaches thanks to his social media accounts. Different from seasons past is the team finally cut McKinley.

Fowler signed an impressive deal but questions remained if his one dominant season was due to playing next to the league’s best defender Aaron Donald. It is almost December and we do not have an answer quite yet. Fowler was injured early in the season, missed time, and seemed to struggle returning to form. Then he was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on November 14.

With only 2 sacks to his name, Fowler is behind Grady Jarrett and Deion Jones and tied with Charles Harris in sacks this season. That’s a rough start for a player making almost $1 million per game.

The good news is the Falcons officially activated Fowler from the reserve/COVID-19 list on November 25th. With only a limited period on the list, we can assume Fowler’s symptoms were not terribly problematic and he should be good to play on Sunday. However, many players have taken a few weeks to get back to form after catching the virus.

Even with Fowler potentially not being at full speed, he provides a big improvement to the starting defensive end position, currently manned by depth players Allen Bailey and Steven Means. Either way, the Falcons will need some luck to slow down Sunday’s opponent the Oakland Raiders who have a surprisingly effective offense under Derek Carr.