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Falcons sign DL LaCale London to roster, cut DL Eli Ankou

The ex-XFLer’s rise has been impressive to see over the past few months.

Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

Atlanta has been cycling depth options along their defensive line all season long. We’ve seen Ta’Quon Graham, of course, but we’ve also watched Albert Huggins, Timothy Horne, Eli Ankou, and LaCale London get work as the team tries to find the best possible fits. I’d argue one of those players is very clearly a capable Graham, slow start notwithstanding, but the Falcons clearly think London is another.

The team announced earlier today that London has been signed to the active roster, with Ankou getting the boot to make room for him. The move comes after London’s second gameday flex to the roster from the practice squad, a day where he played over 30 snaps and acquitted himself well as a run defender and also recovered a Tampa Bay fumble. Two strong Sundays after a really good summer in Atlanta will get you a longer look, and happily, London’s getting one.

Originally an undrafted free agent for the Bears in 2020, London spent the whole of his rookie season on Chicago’s practice squad before hitting injured reserve for part of the 2021 season, ultimately re-joining the practice squad and getting one game’s worth of action in the regular season. He was waived in late August of 2022 and joined the St. Louis Battlehawks of the re-re-created XFL, earning defensive player of the week honors at one point for forcing a pair of fumbles. It was his work in the XFL that clearly caught Atlanta’s eye, because the Falcons scooped him up in May and added him to the practice squad after final cuts.

In that way, London is yet another success story for this front office, which did great work in free agency and mined the XFL for capable players. London’s addition to the active roster signals that he should have a real role waiting for him behind a very veteran group of starters, as he’ll likely share opportunities with Graham, Huggins, and maybe eventually Joe Gaziano. The solid work he’s done through two games and the team’s quick move to get him on the roster this week suggests they value London and perhaps even feared losing him to another team, and that addition might end the carousel of snaps we’ve seen for several players to this point.

Give London a warm welcome to the roster, and we wish Ankou well at his next stop, assuming that stop isn’t the Atlanta Falcons practice squad.