The Falcons are about to play a tough divisional matchup against the Saints, and it’ll be all hands on deck on offense after Atlanta managed a whisper-quiet performance against the Panthers last week. They also need to contain a quality New Orleans rushing attack, and both of their practice squad elevations will hopefully help the team
Today, we learned running back Qadree Ollison and nose tackle Anthony Rush will be joining the active roster. Josh Andrews won’t be out there Sunday, meaning the Falcons will be leaning on Colby Gossett and Drew Dalman as their reserves on the interior of the offensive line.
We have elevated Qadree Ollison and Anthony Rush from the practice squad to the active roster for Sunday's game.— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) November 6, 2021
Josh Andrews will not travel to New Orleans due to family reasons.
Let’s start with Ollison, a very familiar face. A fifth round pick in 2019 in Dirk Koetter’s first year running the offense, Ollison’s physical running style figured to make him a useful piece of a retooling Falcons running back group under a coordinator who prefers that style of back. Instead, Ollison took a backseat to Devonta Freeman and Brian Hill, then Todd Gurley, Ito Smith and Brian Hill, picking up very few touches over two season. He then found himself on the outside looking in after a solid summer under new head coach Arthur Smith.
The elevation of Ollison might be a clue that the Falcons intend to use Cordarrelle Patterson more as a receiver this year without Calvin Ridley in the lineup—that seems like a good idea given the lack of production a week ago from this receiving corps—and Ollison will likely be called upon to mix in on special teams and as the team’s third running back, meaning Wayne Gallman will likely be inactive once again. I’m happy he’s back on the roster, even if it’s only for a week, and hopefully he can turn some heads with the opportunities he gets this week.
Rush is coming aboard to help stop the run. Listed at 350 pounds, he’s been a capable run stuffer and blocker-occupier in his limited opportunities to this point in the NFL, and he’ll join Mike Pennel, Grady Jarrett and others up front as the Falcons try to slow down Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram and company. After allowing over 200 yards on the ground against Carolina, the reinforcements are welcome.
We’ll hope everything is okay with Andrews and his family and that we’ll see him again soon, as well. Give Rush and Ollison a warm if temporary welcome to the roster, and we’ll hope both can help the Falcons beat the Saints tomorrow.