The Falcons are days away from their season opener against the Seahawks. They settled on an initial 53-man roster after cuts Friday and Saturday, but NFL rosters are fluid, and this roster will prove to be no exception. By Week 5 at the latest, the Falcons will get back edge Steven Means and second year cornerback Jordan Miller, necessitating some roster shuffling relatively early in the season.
If you recall, the Falcons placed Means on the reserve/COVID-19 list on August 29th. Miller is 1 game into a 4-game suspension for violating the NFL’s PED policy. Means will be back before Miller, but the Falcons will need to make roster moves to accommodate the return of both players.
So whose roster spot is at risk? Five players come to mind: Charles Harris, Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, Deadrin Senat, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, and Deone Bucannon.
Harris may be the most vulnerable in that group because he and Means play the same position, but I could just as easily see the Falcons cutting Tuioti-Mariner or Senat, especially if Marlon Davidson’s health continues to improve. The fact that the Falcons elected to keep 10 defensive linemen is pretty remarkable and it’s likely to be an unsustainable arrangement as the season moves forward.
I hate to include Wreh-Wilson in this conversation, but he’s the Falcons’ fifth cornerback at this point, so unless they want to roll with six cornerbacks, he’d seemingly be the odd man out. That said, the Falcons may decide that Wreh-Wilson’s stable veteran presence is preferable to Miller’s relatively unproven skillset. Then in turn, they could find a spot for Miller on the practice squad, or trim elsewhere to make room for both.
Lastly it’s worth mentioning Bucannon, notwithstanding his versatility and athleticism, because this is a pure numbers game, and the Falcons plan to roll out 3 safeties in their base defense. (In other words, perhaps they’d be willing to keep only 4 linebackers on the 53-man roster, making Bucannon expendable.)
Your thoughts about how the Falcons may handle the return of Means and Miller?