The Atlanta Falcons have moved defensive end Derrick Shelby to injured reserve. He has a torn Achilles tendon. To take his place on the active roster, they’ve moved safety Sharrod Neasman up from the practice squad.
The team just brought Shelby in during the offseason. He had eight tackles in six games, proving to be a solid role player. He had two QB hits, two tackles for a loss, and a pass defended.
Shelby is 29 years old. He played his college ball at Utah and wasn’t drafted. He’s 6-2, 266 pounds, and he got his start with the Miami Dolphins, who picked him up as a free agent. Though he was not a star, he worked hard and was able to earn a position on a roster every year.
This was supposed to be a big season for him. He got a four-year contract from the Falcons, which pays him $18M over that time. He was coming off of a 3.5-sack season. Yes, he’s a rotational player, but the Falcons were hoping he could step up and have a serious impact. This injury derails those plans, though they hope he can pick things back up next year.
Neasman was also undrafted, though he is a rookie this year. He played his college football at Florida Atlantic, where he was voted a team captain during his senior season. In addition, the Owls named him their Student-Athlete of the Year. The Falcons signed him and he’s been on the practice squad all year. He’ll now get his first taste of real NFL action.