The Falcons are taking full advantage of their ability to protect four players from being plucked off the practice squad each week thus far in 2020, and this week they’re protecting a couple of familiar faces again.
Each week, as a reminder, teams can choose up to four players who cannot be taken by other teams for that week. The remaining 12 can be signed on to active rosters off of practice squads, so a team hot to trot for Kyle Lauletta could go ahead and get him this week if they have a need at quarterback.
Per the AJC’s Jason Butt, here are this week’s four names.
The four practice squad players the Falcons are protecting from poaching this week are:— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) September 15, 2020
DB Delrick Abrams
QB Kurt Benkert
P Cameron Nizialek
WR Chris Rowland
Benkert is the team’s preferred developmental quarterback, which is evident now that they’ve kept him around for a while and have chosen to protect him twice. Rowland may well be the future at returner, as well, and has now been protected for two straight weeks. At one point my impression was that there was a limit to how many times a team could do this per player but it appears I was mistaken, so you should expect to see Benkert and Rowland here a lot.
The other two are interesting choices. Nizialek is the team’s backup specialist, and given the fact that the Falcons told us they wanted to ensure they had one on the practice squad and tried out three options before signing Nizialek, it’s safe to say they’ll probably be focused on keeping him around. That’s a break glass in case of emergency situation, but it’s good for the Falcons to have an option there if Sterling Hofrichter gets hurt.
Abrams was a player I thought seemed interesting when he first signed as an undrafted free agent, but didn’t really hear much about throughout the summer. At 6’3” he has the requisite length to be an interesting player on this defense, and the team is probably intent on keeping him around at least for the short term in case their already thin cornerback depth takes any further hits. Long-term he could be an interesting developmental option, as well.