<
>

Falcons roster still taking shape with Brooks Reed headed to short-term IR

The Falcons had hoped pass-rusher Brooks Reed would immediately contribute to their defense. Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons' roster currently stands at 53 players, but more movement is expected this week in preparation for Monday night's regular-season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.

A source told ESPN.com that injured outside linebacker Brooks Reed, who underwent groin surgery, was informed he'll be placed on injured reserve with a designation to return. The move was expected after coach Dan Quinn announced Reed's surgery. Once formally announced, Reed will have to miss six weeks of practice and won't be able to play in a game for eight weeks, meaning he'll miss a Week 4 matchup against his former team, the Houston Texans. But Reed, signed for his run-stopping ability, should be back for a Nov. 29 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings and the league's top running back, Adrian Peterson.

The Falcons will have an open roster spot until Reed is activated from IR. That spot might become occupied as soon as the team announces the short-term IR designation for Reed. The team could investigate the possibility of adding another quarterback behind Matt Ryan, with inexperienced Sean Renfree the only other arm on the roster. Or maybe the Falcons will add another linebacker to the mix.

Meanwhile, the roster was at 52 going into Sunday until the Falcons claimed offensive tackle Bryce Harris off waivers from New Orleans. The 6-foot-6-inch, 300-pound Harris originally entered the league with the Falcons in 2012 as an undrafted free agent from Fresno State. Harris started four games in three seasons with the Saints.

Depth at offensive tackle was needed with Tyler Polumbus the only healthy body behind starters Jake Matthews and Ryan Schraeder, and Matthews' status is unclear coming off a back injury. Reserve tackle Lamar Holmes remains on the physically unable to perform list after suffering a broken foot during minicamp.

The Falcons did not immediate announce their 10-man practice squad, but former draft picks Stansly Maponga and Tyler Starr are expected to return on the practice squad after being waived. Also set to return are linebacker Derek Akunne and nose tackle Joey Mbu, while former Jaguars and Broncos tight end Marcel Jensen will join the group, too. Jensen could be a player to watch based on the team's tight end situation, with Jacob Tamme and Levine Toilolo currently the only tight ends on the 53-man roster.