The 2020 NFL season is only weeks away, and teams are trying to get their rosters in the best shape possible. With an offseason already impacted by COVID-19, teams have begun holding workouts for potential fill-in players down the road, in case of injury or a player being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
On Saturday, the Atlanta Falcons had four players in for workouts, all potential fill-ins on special teams: punter Drew Kaser, punter Cameron Nizialek, punter Austin Rehkow, and long-snapper Harrison Elliott. Then on Sunday, the team turned it’s focus to the offensive side of the ball hosting quarterbacks Jake Rudock, Kyle Lauletta, Kyle Sloter and wide receivers Greg Dortch and Caleb Scott.
#Falcons worked out QB Jake Rudock, QB Kyle Lauletta, and QB Kyle Sloter.— Evan Birchfield (@EvanBirchfield) August 30, 2020
Rudock was a sixth round selection made by the Detroit Lions in the 2016 NFL Draft. That season, he spent time behind Matthew Stafford and Dan Orlovsky on the active roster. After eventually winning the backup quarterback job in Detroit, Rudock attempted his first NFL pass in Week 13 against the Baltimore Ravens. He went 3-for-5 for 24 yards with one interception. He then returned to the practice squad in 2018, before a series of cuts and re-signings with the Miami Dolphins — who he recently visited on August 20 without re-signing.
After working out with the Las Vegas Raiders earlier in the week, Lauletta worked out for the Falcons. He was a fourth-round pick by the New York Giants in 2018 and was with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2019. He has very limited regular season action, as he has five career passes, with zero completions and one interception.
The final quarterback the Falcons worked out on Sunday was Sloter. He was originally signed by the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent in 2017, but the team waived him before the start of the regular season. He spent time with the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals, before having a brief stint with the Lions, and had a workout with the Chicago Bears earlier this month.
#Falcons worked out WR Greg Dortch and WR Caleb Scott.— Evan Birchfield (@EvanBirchfield) August 30, 2020
Dortch played in two games for the Carolina Panthers as a rookie in 2019. He returned four punts and five kickoffs. Given his listed height of 5’7, lack of receiving production, and special teams past, it’s clear that the Falcons were mainly working him out for his kick and punt return duties.
Unlike Dortch, Scott brings good size to the wide receiver position, as he’s listed at 6’2. Scott has no real NFL experience, having spent only some time with the Seattle Seahawks.
Overall, I think it’s just the Falcons doing their due diligence to get familiar with free agents that they may possibly bring in because of injury, COVID-19, or a practice squad spot need. Given that the team is currently one player shy of the 80-man roster limit, due to defensive end Steven Means recently being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the Falcons are likely to sign someone.