The Falcons have been fond of shuffling the back end of the roster and the practice squad throughout the 2021 season, which is a smart thing to do when you’re trying to find useful depth and develop some worthwhile players for this year and the years to come. That shuffling continued apace Tuesday.
The team announced that in addition to formally designating Hayden Hurst to return to practice—with the expectation on this end that he’ll suit up Sunday against the Panthers—they’ve added cornerback Cornell Armstrong to the practice squad and cut two players from the squad.
We have made the following roster moves:— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) December 7, 2021
- Signed DB Cornell Armstrong to the practice squad.
- Designated Hayden Hurst to return to practice.
- Released Chris Williamson and Rick Leonard from the practice squad.
Armstrong was a 6th round pick by the Dolphins back in 2018, and has spent time with Miami and Houston since then. with the Texans releasing him off of injured reserve back in September. Scouting reports at the time mentioned his aggressive play style and ability to contribute on special teams, and perhaps the Falcons will end up seeing something they like here and keeping Armstrong around now that he’s presumably recovered from his injury. Give him a warm welcome to the practice squad for the moment.
Williamson is a noteworthy name here, though it’s always possible he’ll be back. A practice squad signee in December of last year, Williamson made it through the entire offseason with Atlanta before winding up on the practice squad after final cuts. He spent five games with the Falcons this season and was added back to the practice squad following the Jaguars game, piling up five tackles and (per Pro Football Reference) allowing four catches for 48 yards and a touchdown on the season. Just 24 years old and possessing good size and some promise, Williamson is likely to get snapped up if the Falcons don’t bring him back in a little bit, even if his results in his limited opportunities were uneven.
Leonard had joined the practice squad back on November 18 for a longer look from this coaching staff, and will now be looking for another opportunity. The team will continue to roll with Willie Beavers and Ryan Neuzil as their practice squad offensive linemen with him moving on.
I’m sure we’ll hear about more moves between now and Sunday with Hurst on the cusp of returning, so stay tuned.