Brandon Copeland was last week’s surprise cut, but there was plenty of reason to think he’d soon return. The Falcons appeared to be engaging in a little bit of good old-fashioned cap management to avoid Copeland’s salary becoming guaranteed, but he spent all summer with the team and made it through the final round of cuts, and the team’s so-so defensive effort Sunday suggests they can still use all the help they can get.
Per NFL insider Adam Caplan, Copeland will indeed return, potentially as soon as today.
#Falcons are expected to re-sign veteran OLB Brandon Copeland as soon as today, source said. He was released on Saturday.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) September 13, 2021
The Falcons just made it official.
We have signed LB Brandon Copeland to the active roster.— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) September 13, 2021
Copeland will re-join and should be active against the Buccaneers next weekend, likely biting into the snap counts of Steven Means, Jacob Tuioti-Mariner and Ade Ogundeji. Copeland’s not exactly a proven high-end pass rusher, but he offers a decent all-around skillset and some special teams value, and the Falcons are going to need everyone contributing to slow down a very good Buccaneers team.
Presumably linebacker James Vaughters, who played six defensive snaps and three special teams snaps on Sunday, will head back to the practice squad in a corresponding move. We’ll see when this is made official and when the Falcons make other moves this week, which feels inevitable given their destruction at the hands (talons?) of the Eagles.