Atlanta’s tight end depth was suspect heading into their Week 1 matchup against the Saints, which made it seem likely that they’d elevate one of the three tight ends they chose to add to the practice squad. That turned out to be a reasonable assumption, as the team announced Saturday that they’re elevating Anthony Firkser to the active roster.
Firkser was expected by many—yours truly included—to be the second tight end this upcoming season. He has a multi-year history with Arthur Smith and is a capable receiving option at the position, but Firsker was surprisingly among the cuts when the Falcons chopped the roster down to 53 players, leaving only Kyle Pitts and Parker Hesse on the active roster once John FitzPatrick hit injured reserve. For one week, at least, Firkser will be on the field Sunday, providing another pass catching option for Marcus Mariota while Pitts hopefully dominates and Hesse gets likely-to-be extensive work as a blocker.
In total, players can be elevated to the roster three times before they need to be signed to the active roster, so we’ll see if the team burns through Firkser’s options early and then re-add him to the roster. It’s not hard to imagine Firkser and MyCole Pruitt getting call-ups early on depending on the team’s needs, with one of them ultimately being added to the 53 man partway through the season.
In less happy news, the Falcons have also released Abdullah Anderson, who was a consistently solid presence for Atlanta this summer on a defensive line with little proven depth. It’s surprising to see him getting cut right before a game where he would presumably be useful—the Saints have a solid offensive line and will be a good early test for this defensive line—and we’ll see whether Atlanta’s making any other moves that would explain it. We may see Anderson again.