Atlanta Falcons cut-down analysis

August, 24, 2014
Aug 24
7:30
PM ET
Most significant move: The most eye-opening move had nothing to do with a player getting released. It was offensive lineman Mike Johnson being placed on injured reserve after suffering a foot injury during Saturday night's preseason loss to Tennessee. Johnson was on IR last season and made his way back. He was used as the extra tackle against the Titans, then suffered the foot injury. Maybe he had a chance to make the 53-man for depth following Sam Baker's season-ending knee injury, but Johnson was on the bubble and struggling in practice.

Wild card: Again, there were no real surprises, but you thought maybe undrafted quarterback Jeff Mathews would get a longer look in the final preseason game Thursday night. Instead, he was let go. The Falcons liked his size (6-foot-4) and his intelligence coming out of Cornell. Mathews seemed to be at least a top practice-squad candidate, but maybe not anymore. The Falcons are likely to keep two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, so maybe they want to get one more look at the Sean Renfree-T.J. Yates battle, although Renfree seems to have the backup job behind Matt Ryan.

What’s next: The Falcons have some interesting decisions to make after facing the Jacksonville Jaguars in the final preseason game. They have to determine how many receivers they want to keep with undrafted rookies Geraldo Boldewijn and Bernard Reedy trying to make a final push. They have to decide how many defensive backs they want to keep. And they have to keep in mind depth concerns at linebacker and along the offensive line. Some other players to keep an eye on in terms of fighting for jobs include safety Sean Baker, outside linebacker Tyler Starr and defensive tackle Travian Robertson.

Falcons moves: IR: OL Mike Johnson (foot), LB Marquis Spruill (ACL); PUP: WR Drew Davis (foot), S Zeke Motta (neck); Released: S Tyrell Johnson; Waived: DE Theo Agnew, LB Brenden Daley, LB Darin Drakeford, S Devonta Glover-Wright, WR Julian Jones, QB Jeff Mathews, LB Walker May, RB Jerome Smith, WR Tramaine Thompson, TE Brian Wozniak.

Vaughn McClure

ESPN Atlanta Falcons reporter

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