The return of MyCole Pruitt was most welcome, but the accompanying news regarding how the Falcons have created roster space for him is very unwelcome. Per the team, they’ve placed Calais Campbell on the non-football injury list and have waived Caleb Huntley with a failed physical designation.
We’ll start with the biggest name and the biggest human being here. Campbell’s injury may not be a big deal—we really hope it’s not a big deal—and all we really know about it is that he suffered it, as Scott Bair and Tori McElhaney write, “outside of sanctioned football-related activities.” That might mean a twisted ankle while walking the dog or something more serious, but again, we don’t know just yet.
UPDATE: On Wednesday, Arthur Smith made it clear this is a minor issue that shouldn’t keep Campbell out for long.
What we do know is that Campbell can be restored to the active roster at any time from this list, and if he’s still on it after the cutdown to a 53 man roster, he can be placed on the reserve NFI list at the beginning of the season. If that happens, Campbell will not be able to play the first six weeks of the season, and the team can open a three week practice window to active him at any point after that. If Campbell’s ailment is severe enough, in other words, there’s a chance we won’t see him until well into the 2023 NFL season. Considering he’s expected to be a vital cog on defense given his consistent excellence, that would be bad news for Atlanta, so let’s hope that’s not the case.
Huntley’s news comes shortly after he was added to the physically unable to perform list by the team, which makes this a bit of a shocker. He was waived with a failed physical designation, which may indicate that he’s a long way away from returning from his injury. My hope is that we’ll see Huntley back in Atlanta at some point—he was excellent for Atlanta a year ago—but for the moment he’s looking for a new team. Regardless of where he ends up, my fingers are crossed that Huntley is healthy sooner than later.
This is unpleasant news for a Tuesday afternoon, and as Bair and McElhaney note, Arthur Smith will probably provide an update of sorts tomorrow when he speaks to the media. For now, we’re left to wait and see what news we get about Campbell and wonder what the Falcons will do about their current injury-depleted depth at running back.