Falcons Sign 14 Players To Practice Squad, Two QBs

Wetzel

Getty John Wetzel #75 of the Atlanta Falcons.

The Falcons added 14 players to their practice squad on Sunday, which including signing fan favorite, Kurt Benkert, back.

The team had cut both Benkert and Kyle Lauletta on Saturday but signed both quarterbacks on Sunday.

Benkert and Lauletta will have to battle it out for a spot behind Matt Schaub.

Here is a look at the entire practice squad signings so far:

This season, several positive coronavirus test results among NFL players are bound to happen and players will be missing more game games than normal. So the league decided to expand the practice squad rosters to a maximum of 16 players instead of 12. This includes six veterans rather than only two for this season.

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Atlanta Signs Another Dawg

The Falcons finally gave into signing another from UGA Bulldog, Cameron Nizialek. This is very exciting for Nizialek as he has been working hard for this call for some time now.

After receiving his degree from Columbia University in 2017, Nizialek transferred to UGA where he played his last eligible season—the same one that led the dawgs to an SEC Championship win and a trip to the National Championship game. As a Dawg, he averaged 45.0 yards over 61 punts.

In between now and then, Nizialek has had some success landing a spot on rosters.

After his UGA season, the specialist played a short-while with the AAF’s Atlanta Legends, booting a record high 65-yard punt. Younghoe Koo was on the team at the time too. Nizialek ranked second in the league with an average of 47.4 yards per punt. He then was signed by the Baltimore Ravens as a kicker where he competed in two exhibition games before ending with an injury settlement.

Name to Watch: Jared Pinkney

Pinkney is a name to look out for on the practice squad.

He went from being one of the highest tight end prospects to an undrafted free agent due to many obstacles. Prior to the 2019 season, had a wrist injury he suffered.

In 2018, Pinkney balled out as a junior snagging 50 receptions for 775 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 15.5 yards per catch. Vandy was led by Kyle Shurmur that season, who passed for 3,130 yards with a 62.6 percent completion rate.

The NFL was shopping for Pinkney as a junior, but he decided to forgo the draft.

The Commodores’ offense following the 2018 season went 2-9 with just 2,064 passing yards and 10 touchdowns. Pinkney had all career lows catching 20 passes for 233 yards, averaging 11.7 per catch, and only two touchdowns.

It wasn’t all Pinkney’s fault. In fact, the new starting quarterback was the main problem after Shurmer left.

Falcons Release & Sign Wetzel

The Falcons released Wetzel earlier today and the resigned him. He’s used to it.

Wetzel,29, signed a one-year contract with Altlanta last April. The Falcons later released him during training camp before the regular season. When rookie guard Chris Lindstrom broke his foot, the Falcons decided to re-signed Wetzel in September. Wetzel appeared in just two games with the Falcons during the 2019 season. and was up and down from the active roster. He played a total of 18 snaps at left guard.

The Falcons also claimed offensive tackle Timon Parris, who spent his last to seasons with the Washington Football Team.

Parris spent most of the last two years on the practice squad but suited up for four games. Parris will be a nice addition to Atlanta’s offensive tackle depth, which includes Kaleb McGary and Jake Matthews, Matt Gono and Wetzel.

READ NEXT: Fans React To Falcons Cutting QB Kurt Benkert

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