Falcons Elevate 2 Players vs. Bears

Frank darby

Getty Frank Darby No. 88 of Atlanta Falcons.

The Atlanta Falcons elevated two players from their practice squad––wide receiver Frank Darby and offensive lineman Ryan Neuzil––ahead of Week 11’s game against the Chicago Bears, ESPN’s Michael Rothstein reported Saturday, November 19.

Darby, a 2021 sixth-round pick by Atlanta, has appeared in just one other game this season, back in Week 3 against the Seattle Seahawks.

As for Neuzil, this will mark his third time being elevated to the active roster and we could see him get some reps in at left guard if Colby Gossett struggles.

Per league rules, a practice squad player may only be elevated for a maximum of three regular-season games. After that, the team must sign him to the 53-man roster.

Darby Faced the Hardest Battle During Training Camp

The wide receiver position was easily the hardest battle to be in at training camp this offseason and the Falcons’ 2021 sixth-round pick was overshadowed by the older guys.

While he may have gone overlooked next to the vets, Darby felt like his overall performance at camp was a lot better than his rookie year.

“I felt like this, this camp was one of my best camps, way better than last year,” Darby said on Aug. 29. “I felt like this camp made me push myself, especially the room that was created since me and Oz [Olamide Zacchaeus] were the only ones that came back from last year.”

The Falcons brought in a handful of veterans this summer including, KhaDarel Hodge, Geronimo Allison, Damiere Byrd, Auden Tate, and Bryan Edwards. And these guys came to town with a lot more experience under their belts, which ultimately helped Darby.

“Bringing in guys like Hodge, Edwards, Tate, Geronimo, Byrd… that pushed me to another limit because a lot of them guys, vets, and they knew a lot,” Darby said. “So, I had to push myself to learn the playbook, better learn my assignment, learn my details and wherever they put me at, you know, I had to do that at a high level. And I feel like I did really well at that.”

As a rookie, Darby didn’t see much action, playing in just three games and recording one catch for 14 yards.

He ended up not making it past Atlanta’s final roster cuts ahead of Week 1, however, he was immediately signed to the team’s practice squad the following day.

Neuzil Has Spent Two Seasons on Atlanta’s Practice Squad

After going unselected out of Appalachian State in the 2021 NFL Draft, Neuzil was signed by the Falcons as an undrafted free agent.

He didn’t make it through roster cuts, but was re-signed to the practice squad the following day. Neuzil spent the entire 2021 season on the practice squad and signed a future contract with Atlanta in January.

After spending a year on the “P squad” Neuzil came into this past offseason looking to make an impact. He had a pretty decent showing and even took snaps at center as opposed to guard, but his versatility wasn’t enough to make it through final roster cuts.

Neuzil was once again re-signed to the practice squad. With the Falcons dealing with injuries at center and guard, we could see Neuzil rotated through both positions, if needed, on Sunday.






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