Instead of a couple big, abrupt cuts, the NFL has teams trimming five players off their roster after the first two weeks of this shortened preseason and then making one drastic 27 man reduction to get down to a “final” 53 man roster. As it stands today, the Falcons have to make five cuts before 4 p.m. Tuesday to get to an 80 man roster ahead of next Sunday’s preseason finale against the Browns.
If McCarron is unfortunately going to miss significant time, moving him to injured reserve will free up a roster spot...that the team is widely expected to immediately re-fill with a veteran quarterback. The team will need to look elsewhere to actually free up the required spots.
I genuinely don’t like speculating about who might be cut, so let’s just note that players who have not stood out at positions like wide receiver, cornerback and linebacker where the team has a lot of options could be in trouble after the coaching staff reviews this past game. The Falcons are carrying 11 receivers right now, for example, and may only keep five on the final roster when they cut down to 53 guys. The situation is fairly similar at cornerback, given that the Falcons had their adventures in coverage on Saturday night and have 9 players contending for 5-6 jobs there, with most of those spots seemingly already locked up.
Last week, Atlanta cut more players than they needed to in order to free up an additional roster spot, and did so well ahead of the 4 p.m. deadline. Given that, chances are good we’ll know sometime today who the team is cutting ties with, so stay tuned.