It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt!
And that’s what happened on Tuesday, August 2 when Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Vincent Taylor went down with an Achilles tear, head coach Arthur Smith told reporters following practice.
As a result, Taylor will miss the 2022 season.
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Taylor Entered the NFL in 2017
The Falcons hosted Taylor back in April ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft before signing him to a one-year deal.
The 28-year-old first joined the NFL in 2017 as a sixth-round (194th overall) pick by the Miami Dolphins.
The Oklahoma State product played 13 games during his rookie year before he was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury, which cut ended his season early. His second year in the league was also derailed by an injury. Taylor played in eight games in 2018 before suffering a foot injury and landing on the injured reserve again.
It was a “surprise” when the Dolphins released him ahead of the 2019 season because, despite Taylor’s injury setbacks, he remained a valuable asset to Miami’s defense. He logged 28 defensive stops and missed only 1 tackle during his first two seasons in the NFL with the Dolphins.
Through 21 games, Taylor made 45 tackles, had three QB hits and made four tackles for a loss and two sacks.
Taylor was soon signed off the waivers to the Buffalo Bills practice squad. He was promoted to the active roster late in the season and waived as a part of the 2020 season roster cuts. After being waived by Buffalo, Taylor was claimed once again off the waivers by Cleveland and appeared in 15 games for the Browns, recording 12 tackles and a fumble recovery.
His most recent stint was in Houston last season, but that was also cut short after he suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 1.
Since joining the league in 2017, Taylor has appeared in 40 NFL games, logging 65 tackles (42 solo), two sacks and four QB hits.
The Falcons Keep Losing DTs
Taylor’s injury marks the second veteran defensive tackle that the Falcons “lost” this offseason.
Two weeks ago, Eddie Goldman announced his retirement after signing a one-year deal with the team just a few days prior. The former 2015 second-round pick spent six seasons with the Chicago Bears before hanging up his cleats.
With Goldman no longer in their 2022 plans, the Falcons signed some more defensive line help in former San Francisco 49ers’ DT Darrion Daniels.
However, unlike Goldman and Taylor, Daniels doesn’t come with a lot of experience.
Daniels spent most of his collegiate career as an Oklahoma Sooner before transferring to Nebraska ahead of his final season in 2019. During his lone season as a Husker, Daniels logged a career-high 34 tackles and was also one of four team captains.
From there, he entered the 2020 NFL Draft where he signed with the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent.
Daniels initially landed on the Niner’s practice squad as a rookie, but an injury-plagued season for the team opened up some opportunities for him. He was elevated three times and promoted to the active roster later in the season. He finished his first year in the league recording four tackles.
Ahead last season, Daniels found himself back on the 49ers’ practice squad before landing on the injured reserve with a lower leg injury. He did not play a single snap in 2021.
You can expect the Falcons to be on the lookout for another defensive tackle in free agency.