The Atlanta Falcons placed punter Dustin Colquitt on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday, November 22.
In addition to the move, the team announced they had released offensive lineman Joe Sculthorpe from the practice squad.
In order for Colquitt to play on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, he must show no symptoms and will need two negative COVID-19 tests 24 hours apart.
ALL the latest Falcons news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Falcons newsletter here!
Falcons Looking at Veteran Punter
The Falcons already have a backup plan, according to team insider D. Orlando Ledbetter.
“The team wants to go with a veteran punter and is looking at former Saints and Jets punter Thomas Morstead, who recently was released by the Jets, according to a person familiar with the situation,” Ledbetter reported on Tuesday afternoon.
Morehead most recently departed from the New York Jets on Nov. 8. His departure was dramatic as he made a big announcement via Twitter before the team did:
“I’m out! I’m so grateful to the Jets for the opportunity to keep living out my dream. I got to show my kids how to persevere through adversity. Can’t ask for much more than that. Also, if my production this season hasn’t already indicated, there is a lot of gas left in the tank. This will be my first time going through the waiver process so Ya’ll keep me posted if a team claims me. The internet finds these things out before we do. #AllGasNoBrakes.”
The 13-year NFL veteran also included a screenshot of the league’s top punters in 2021 in his farewell tweet–––ranking second in expected points added per punt (pEPA). Morstead played just a fill-in role for the Jets while their 2020 sixth-round draft pick, Braden Mann, was sidelined due to an injury, so Morstead’s release was inevitable once Mann was healthy again.
Morstead Was Drafted in 2009
Morstead,35, was initially drafted out of SMU by the New Orleans Saints in the fifth-round (164th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft––the second punter chosen in that year’s draft class behind Kevin Huber, who went to the Cincinatti Bengals.
The rookie punter earned the starting job ahead of the season and would go on to star in the Saints’ victory over the Indianapolis Colts during Super Bowl XLIV. His onside kick in the second half led to the Saints recovering the ball and turning the possession into a touchdown to take the lead. New Orleans won 31-17.
His 2020 season was hindered by a back injury, which kept him to a career-low average of just 43.1 yards per punt.
After 13 seasons with the Saints, he was released in March of 2021 in order to create more cap space. During his time in New Orleans, he averaged 46.5 yards per punt, the sixth-best average in NFL history at the time of his release.