The Atlanta Falcons must find a way to get their offense going. They will now have to do that with some lost depth at wide receiver.
The Falcons announced on Wednesday that they placed second-year receiver Josh Ali on injured reserve.
To replace Ali, the Falcons signed defensive lineman Eli Ankou in a corresponding move.
Ankou began his career as an undrafted free agent for the Houston Texans in 2017. He failed to make the Texans roster out of training camp, but he signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he played nine games and recorded 1.5 sacks in 2017.
A Canadian native, Ankou spent two seasons with the Jaguars. He has also played for the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans during his career. In six NFL seasons, he’s recorded 43 combined tackles, including 3 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and 3 quarterback hits.
Ankou started a career-high two games for the Browns in 2019. Last year, he was with the Bills, however, he didn’t appear in a game.
In college, Ankou played for UCLA from 2013-16. Over four seasons, he posted 91 total tackles, including 8 for loss and 1.5 sacks.
With Ankou, the Falcons now have eight defensive lineman on the active roster.
That’s quite a different situation than what Atlanta has at wide receiver. With the loss of Ali, the Falcons have four healthy wideouts on the active roster.
It wouldn’t at all be surprising if the team makes another move to add a receiver before the Week 5 matchup versus the Texans.
It’s very possible that the Falcons will promote veteran receiver Frank Darby from the practice squad. Atlanta signed him to its practice squad on Tuesday.
Despite being the team’s fifth receiver, though, Ali didn’t dress during the first four games of this season. He played in two contests at the end of last year.
In those two games, he received 1 target that he didn’t catch while playing 14 offensive snaps.