There was confusion that Fowler had a knee injury due to being seen at practice with a knee brace. Quinn also added that Fowler’s injury should be short-term and they’re still counting on him to play Week 1.
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Fowler to Bolster Falcons’ Pass Rush Defense
Fowler, 26, went to the Rams in 2018 through a midseason trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He helped the Rams reach the Super Bowl that season.
LA tried to keep Fowler, but he opted to go with Atlanta on a three-year deal worth up to $48 million—and the Falcons selfishly needed this addition. The Falcons recorded only 28 sacks the entire year, which ranked second to last in the NFL.
Fowler had an impressive 2019 season recording a career-best of 11.5 sacks as a Ram. Unfortunately, the team finished 9-7 and ended up missing the playoffs.
Fowler was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars as the third overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Florida. He tore his ACL his first year in the league which ended his rookie season. Once he returned, he averaged just single-digit sacks. But after last season, he’s ready to keep the double-digits going in Atlanta.
He has recorded a total of 27.5 career sacks in the NFL, so far.
Fowler Compared To a Pittbull In Camp
Falcons’ safety and team captain, Ricardo Allen, was mic’d up last week and it’s the best one by far.
While the entire clip is worth a watch, the 2:24 minute mark where Allen and safety Sherrod Neasman praise Dante Fowler.
Allen: “Ey Fowlers nice, boy.”
Neasman: “Ain’t he? He’s just like a pitbull.”
What If Fowler Is Out Week 1?
The Falcons will face off against the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 13 and it won’t be an easy opponent.
If Fowler happens to be out then it will be Allen Bailey or Steven Means on the line. However, Means is currently placed on the COVID-19/Injured Reserve list until further notice.
Bailey, 31, signed with Atlanta prior to the 2019 season after spending his career with the Kansas City Chiefs. During his first season as a Falcon, Bailey played in 15 games with five starts; he recorded 26 tackles with four tackles for a loss and one sack. Over his nine-year career, Bailey has recorded 233 tackles, 38 tackles for a loss, 20.5 sacks, seven fumble recoveries, six pass defenses and four forced fumbles.
The Falcons signed Bailey to a one-year, $4.5 million extension that included a $3.25M signing bonus back in March.
Means, 29, played in eight games for the Falcons in 2018 and missed the entire 2019 season after suffering an Achilles injury in the offseason. Currently, Means is the only player on the Falcons’ reserve/COVID-19 list. Atlanta had their last training camp with its third and scrimmage on Friday. However, Means did not participate in the final practice.
The next man up in rotation is Austin Edwards, a 2020 undrafted free agent out of Ferris State.