Falcons’ Isaiah Oliver to return to practice from injured reserve

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Teams starts 21-day clock for his return to active roster

FLOWERY BRANCH -- Falcons cornerback Isaiah Oliver, who is coming back from knee surgery and was on injured reserve, will return to practice Wednesday and start his 21-day clock to return to the 53-man roster.

Now, the Falcons have eight other players on injured reserve.

“With all of our guys, they are on different time frames,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith said Wednesday. “There is no need to press it, but you will see Isaiah today. All of the players here, we are going to evaluate them medically and we’re going to do what’s best for the players.”

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While Oliver was designated to return, linebacker Deion Jones, defensive tackle Marlon Davidson, guard Jalen Mayfield and tight end John FitzPatrick will stay on injured reserve.

Running back Cordarrelle Patterson (knee), running back Damian Williams (ribs), long snapper Beau Brinkley (Achilles) and defensive tackle Vincent Taylor (Achilles) also are on injured reserve for the Falcons.

“We have open conversations with all of our players about it, but at the end of the day, we’re always going to do what’s best for the player, their health and safety and what’s best for the team,” Smith said.

Oliver, 25, was held out of the first two exhibition games.

He played in the third exhibition game. He looked fine in the second quarter covering Jacksonville wide receiver Laviska Shenault out of the slot on two third downs. The ball didn’t come his way on both of those plays.

However, he still was placed on injured reserve to start the season. Now he is on the 21-day designated-to-return list.

Oliver, who was drafted in the second round (58th overall) of the 2018 NFL draft, played nickel back with the reserves against Jacksonville. The Falcons did not play their starters in the game.

Oliver, who was moved to nickel back in the 2020 season, was injured against Washington on Oct. 3 last season. Running back J.D. McKissic blocked Oliver when he was rushing the quarterback, and his knee was injured on the play.

Oliver missed the rest of the season after the injury.

League rules limit teams to eight players who can return from injured reserve.

“Now, we are down to seven,” Smith said. “Regardless of whether Isaiah gets activated our not. That’s one of your spots.”

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Atlanta Falcons 2022 NFL schedule

Sept. 11: Saints 27, Falcons 26

Sept. 18: Rams 31, Falcons 27

Sept. 25 Falcons 27, Seahawks 23

Oct. 2 Falcons 23, Browns 20

Oct. 9 at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.

Oct. 16 vs. San Francisco, 1 p.m.

Oct. 23 at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.

Oct. 30 vs. Carolina, 1 p.m.

Nov. 6 vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 1 p.m.

Nov. 10 at Carolina, 8:15 p.m.

Nov. 20 vs. Chicago, 1 p.m.

Nov. 27 at Washington, 1 p.m.

Dec. 4 vs. Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.

BYE WEEK

Dec. 18 at New Orleans, TBD

Dec. 24 at Baltimore, 1 p.m.

Jan. 1 vs. Arizona, 1 p.m.

Jan. 8 vs. Tampa Bay, TBD