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Steelers poach RB Godwin Igwebuike from Falcons practice squad

It’s a frustrating loss for Atlanta, who will go looking for running back depth now.

NFL: SEP 17 Packers at Falcons Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Falcons left preseason with Cordarrelle Patterson banged up, so the presence of Godwin Igwebuike was a bit of a blessing. The veteran running back impressed throughout preseason and the summer, earning a spot on the practice squad, and wound up active on the first two gamedays for Atlanta.

With Patterson on his way back this week—we hope—the Falcons may not have needed Igwebuike against the Lions. Still, his ability to field kickoffs and his skill as a runner figured to make him useful for Atlanta if injuries popped up in this backfield, so ideally they would have kept him around.

We do not live in an ideal world, as Pittsburgh has swiped Igwebuike off of Atlanta’s practice squad. He’ll be their third running back now, and chances are we’ve seen the last of him with the Falcons for the 2023 season.

This is a loss for Atlanta, which has a gifted, talent-rich backfield but zero depth after Patterson, who remains a great player but has been dealing with injury off and on quite a bit over his time with the Falcons. It leaves an open practice squad spot the team will almost certainly fill with another back to give them flexibility and depth. Undrafted free agent Carlos Washington is still out there and did spend the summer with the Falcons, and while I missed it earlier, it appears the Falcons have reportedly signed him to their practice squad.

Washington had a shaky preseason but a strong training camp, and has the kind of bruising style the Falcons love in their backs. We may see him Sunday in a small role if Patterson still can’t go.

We wish Igwebuike well in Pittsburgh and thank him for a fun summer here in Atlanta, and we give Washington a warm welcome back to Atlanta.