The Atlanta Falcons are continuing to make some necessary moves ahead of Sunday’s home matchup against the Carolina Panthers.
On Tuesday, Oct. 26, the team announced they had released wide receiver Keelan Doss from the practice squad and signed defensive lineman Nick Thurman in his place.
Bolstering the defense only makes sense since the Falcons have two of their top receivers back in Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage.
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Thurman Went Undrafted in 2018
Thurman, who weighs in at 6-4 and 306-pounds, originally signed as an undrafted free agent with the Houston Texans in May of 2018 but was waived during the final roster cuts.
He wasn’t picked up by anyone until April of 2019 when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave him a shot on their practice squad. He only spent a few days there before heading to the New England Patriots.
For the entirety of the 2019 season, Thurman was on the Patriots’ practice squad and signed a reserves/futures contract with the team in 2020. He was elevated that season seven different times with his NFL debut finally coming against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2.
Thurman ended up recording 10 total tackles (seven solo) through seven games (one start) for the Patriots in 2020.
Prior to entering the NFL, Thurman played at the University of Houston where he recorded 92 tackles (15 for loss_ and 4.5 sacks and was named to the 2018 Senior Bowl watch list heading into his senior year that he would ultimately forgo.
Doss Is a Former Raiders UDFA
As for Doss, he went unselected in the 2019 NFL Draft. He then signed with the Las Vegas Raiders as a UDFA and played in eight games during his rookie year. That season, he posted 11 receptions and 133 receiving yards and made two starts.
Last fall, Doss saw action in only one game for the Raiders against the Buffalo Bills. He received just three snaps but didn’t record any catches.
The 25-year-old was once deemed a top receiver coming out of UC Davis. He finished his college career recording 312 receptions, 4,069 receiving yards and 19 100-yard receiving games. He became the first in the school’s Division I era with the most receiving touchdowns, total touchdowns, and all-purpose yards.
The Falcons added Doss to their practice squad in September for extra depth at wide receiver when Russell Gage was sidelined but he was never elevated to the 53-man roster.
More Moves the Falcons Made
On Monday, Oct. 25th, the Falcons released cornerback T.J. Green and kicker Elliot Fry from the practice squad. In a corresponding move, they signed safety Luther Kirk and activated starting right tackle Kaleb McGary from the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Kirk, 24, was projected to be a fourth or fifth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft but instead went undrafted and was signed to the Dallas Cowboys practice squad. He ended up leaving Dallas in Week 3 to be with the Minnesota Vikings all the way up until August of this past offseason. He was elevated to the Vikings’ 53-man roster for just one game last season but spent the rest of the year on the practice squad.
The Falcons’ secondary is a bit banged up so adding Kirk is a safety net move.
As for McGary, he will slide back into his starting role at right tackle.