Steven Means was one of Dean Pees’ most reliable defenders for the first eight games of the season, clocking at least 70% of the defensive snaps in every game and piling up 83 combined tackles and a fumble recovery while whiffing on just one tackle attempt. There isn’t much that’s flashy about Means’ game, but the value Atlanta placed on his reliability was evident.
After a three week stint on injured reserve, the Falcons were clearly keen to get him back in time for their matchup with the Buccaneers, the team Means started his career with back in 2013. They announced they activated him and elevated Qadree Ollison from the practice squad yesterday while I was wrestling with a Christmas tree, so here’s that news just a little bit late.
Means will probably take a week or so to return to his full complement of snaps, but he’ll be involved today in the outside linebacker rotation and will hopefully be able to help this team put the brakes on Tampa Bay. I’d fully expect him to be at least a nominal starter the rest of the way and a strong candidate to be re-signed this offseason.
Ollison, meanwhile, will get a longer look at running back today after a couple of nice runs against New England piqued the team’s interest in his abilities. If he does well today he’ll deserve a permanent spot on the roster, because Tampa Bay has perhaps the best run defense in football and it’s going to be an uphill battle to get much of anything going on the ground.
Welcome Means back, and let’s hope he and Ollison are prominent parts of a win today.