5 things to know about the Falcons on Monday

The Falcons are starting their regular-season practice schedule as they start to get ready for the season-opener against the Seahawks on Sept. 13 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Here are five things to know about the Falcons on Monday:

1. Cut down day looming. The Falcons must be down to 53 players by the deadline, 4 p.m. Saturday. Then the real roster juggling will begin to get 16 players on the expanded practice squad. Look for teams to put more veterans and fewer developmental players on the practice squad. If a team gets hit with rash of reserve/COVID-19 listings, they want to pull talent up that they can play in the NFL.

2. Camp battles: The Falcons camp battles are going down to the wire. They have three practice before the final scrimmage/mock game Thursday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Matt Hennessey appears to be ahead of veteran James Carpenter for the starting left guard position heading into the final week.

3. Tryouts. The Falcons have reported tryouts to the league for specialists, quarterbacks and wide receivers over the weekend. One noticeable name was quarterback Kyle Lauletta, who was a fourth-round pick by the New York Giants in 2018. Also, former Georgia punter Cameron Nizialek was on the list.

4. Run game improvement key. In 2019, NFL teams with a 100-yard rusher posted a 78-28 record for a .736 winning percentage. That rated higher than teams with a 100-yard receiver (96-84-2, .533) or a 300-yard passer (68-61-2, .530).

The Falcons didn’t have a 100-yard rusher in any game last season. The Falcons only went for more than 100 yards rushing, as a group, in four games. Devonta Freeman’s season-high was 88 yards in a loss Oct. 13 to Arizona.

Of note, former LSU running back Leonard Fournette was released by the Jaguars Monday morning.

5. Reserve/COVID-19 list update: Defensive end Steven Means was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday by the Falcons.

Means is the eighth Falcon placed on the list. Six others returned to the roster, and one was released.


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