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Falcoholinks: All the Falcons news you need for Monday, Aug. 31

Links for your Monday morning.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons Training Camp Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

We are less than two weeks from the Falcons’ first game of the season. Rejoice, and read Monday’s links.

Steven Means lands on the Reserve/COVID-19 list

Steven Means’ time with the Falcons has been defined by his inability to stay on the field, and he’s now going to miss some time as he’s landed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. There’s no word as yet if Means has tested positive or has merely been exposed, but he will be away from the team until he’s medically cleared — and his absence will potentially impact his battle to make the final roster.

Defensive predictions

So far into training camp, the Falcons offense has been humming — but it’s the defense that needs to take the leap if Atlanta has playoff aims. Our Eric Robinson dropped his three predictions for the Falcons defense in 2020, and if they come to fruition, Atlanta’s defense will have succeeded on its goals for the coming season.

Mentorship

We saw the value of veteran leadership firsthand when the Falcons brought in Dwight Freeney, as his guidance definitely contributed to Vic Beasley’s best professional season. That mentorship spirit is still alive and well in Atlanta, as the Falcons’ elder statesman have embraced the role so far in training camp.

Player profiles

More player profiles coming your way, as we turn our focus to some UDFAs hoping to make the roster. Defensive tackle Sailosi Latu is a big-bodied lineman out of San Jose State, and while the Falcons are pretty loaded at the position, his value as a run-stuffer up the middle gives him an outside shot to make the squad.

The same can be said for small school DT Hinwa Allieu, whose best shot in 2020 might be the practice squad.

The deal with Deadrin

We’ve wondered allowed on what’s going on with Deadrin Senat since his benching against the Saints on Thanksgiving two years ago, and he apparently hasn’t helped his case as he’s been less than impressive in camp. Deadrin Senat may not just be on the outside looking in this season, but there’s a chance his roster spot is in jeopardy.