Atlanta’s starting to make a habit of snatching players off of other teams’ practice squads. Last week it was tackle Storm Norton joining up from New Orleans, and this week it’s defensive lineman Eli Ankou being signed away from the Bills practice squad.
If Ankou’s name sounds a bit familiar, it’s because he was with the Falcons during the spring and summer of 2021 in two different stints. A durable run defender, flashed a bit in his rookie season in Jacksonville and has been traveling around the league since, spending most of each of the past three years with Buffalo.
Bills practice squad DT Eli Ankou is going to be signed by the Atlanta Falcons to their 53-man roster, his agent @PVH_Ascend tells me.— Sal Capaccio (@SalSports) October 3, 2023
The Falcons, who vow to always look around at other rosters and see what’s available, likely are importing Ankou to take a roster spot currently belonging to either Albert Huggins or Joe Gaziano. The latter has barely played and the former began the year as a rotational defensive lineman, but had that role taken away the past two weeks as the Falcons elevated Timothy Horne, who provided typically solid work. I had wondered if we might see the team promote Horne at the expense of Huggins or Gaziano, but it looks like at least for now, Ankou is the player who will be added and possibly active Sunday against the Texans.
Houston’s so-so ground game is not a huge test for this surging Falcons run defense, but the hope will be that Ankou can still help out this week and down the line in that regard, and it’s nice to see him back. Don’t be surprised if the Falcons continue to make a habit of poaching players off other teams’ practice squads to shuffle the back end of the roster, especially with some unproven options lurking there.
Give Ankou a warm welcome to Atlanta, and we’ll see what the corresponding move is soon enough.