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Matt Ryan: Primed for prolific year under Koetter

Ryan declared Thursday that he's excited to be once again working with Dirk Koetter as his offensive coordinator, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. "I learned so much from him the first time around (2012-2014), and he's picked up a few different things along the way too," Ryan said in a post-practice interview. "We've come up with some really good stuff."

Analysis: Ryan has historically been a more electrifying passer in seasons with Koetter calling the shots. When Koetter served as the Falcons' offensive coordinator between 2012 and 2014, Ryan completed 67.4 percent of his attempts for 4,643 passing yards per season -- notably better numbers than Ryan's 65 percent completion rate and 4,099 passing yards per season across his other eight pro campaigns. With Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary drafted in the first round, as well as additions of veteran guards James Carpenter and Jamon Brown via free agency, the offensive line projects to be much sturdier than it was a year ago when allowing Ryan to absorb a career-high 108 QB hits. Add in a selection of skill-position players that includes three former Pro Bowlers (Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman and Austin Hooper) as well an emerging star in Calvin Ridley, and it's easy to envision Ryan remaining a top-flight fantasy quarterback in 2019.

May 24, 2019 3:14 PM EST

Matt Ryan News

Dede Westbrook: Dealing with undisclosed injury

Westbrook is working out inside Friday at OTAs due to an undisclosed injury, Phillip Heilman of The Florida Times-Union reports.

Analysis: Westbrook fully participated at Wednesday's practice after being absent the first day of OTAs, so this appears to be a new injury for the 25-year-old. The specifics and severity of the issue are not currently clear.

May 24, 2019 8:28 AM EST

Dede Westbrook News

Mack Hollins: Still can't practice

Hollins (groin) isn't participating in spring practices, Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports.

Analysis: Hollins initially had surgery in February 2018 and suffered a setback shortly before Week 1 last season. After spending the entire year on injured reserve, the 2017 fourth-round pick apparently is still working his way through the rehab process. Coach Doug Pederson did say he's encouraged by Hollins' recent progress, but the young wideout likely will need to battle for a roster spot if/when he finally gets healthy. With Alshon Jeffery (ribs), DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor and JJ Arcega-Whiteside all locked in, Hollins will compete with a host of players for one or two spots.

May 24, 2019 6:53 AM EST

Mack Hollins News

Andrew Vollert: Claimed by Chargers

The Chargers claimed Vollert off waivers Thursday.

Analysis: Vollert didn't spend very long on the wire after being waived by the Bengals on Wednesday. The Weber State product spent the final eight games of the 2018 season on Cincinnati's practice squad and re-upped with the team on a reserve/future contract in January. Vollert could have a decent chance at making the Chargers' roster, but it would appear that Hunter Henry (knee) has the starting role all but locked up.

May 23, 2019 5:20 PM EST

Andrew Vollert News

Fozzy Whittaker: Working out for Saints

Whittaker worked out for the Saints on Thursday, Josh Katzenstein of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

Analysis: The bigger news from this report is that Whittaker has seemingly recovered from the torn ACL he sustained during OTAs in 2018 while with the Panthers. The 30-year-old now seems ready to look for his next NFL opportunity. Whittaker recorded 536 rushing yards and two touchdowns over 121 carries (4.4 YPC) in his four seasons with Carolina -- the Texas native actually recorded more return yards (856 total) than rushing yards each year as a Panther. Whittaker was joined by fellow running backs Rob Kelley and Buck Allen in the workout Thursday.

May 23, 2019 5:15 PM EST

Fozzy Whittaker News

Jaylen Smith: Limited at OTAs

Smith was spotted at OTAs with his leg heavily wrapped Thursday, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Smith was signed by the Ravens as an undrafted free agent. The Louisville product has solid speed -- he ran a 4.47 40-yard dash at the combine -- and could have a decent chance at making Baltimore's roster and joining former Louisville teammate Lamar Jackson. This injury obviously makes that pursuit a little more difficult, but it's unknown just how serious it is -- more information should surface as OTAs roll on.

May 23, 2019 5:02 PM EST

Jaylen Smith News

Devonta Freeman: Healthy for OTAs

Freeman is participating in OTAs, Kelsey Conway of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: Freeman couldn't quite make it back from injured reserve in December, but he at least seems to have returned to full strength before the start of Atlanta's offseason program. The team brings back all its Week 1 starters from last season at the skill positions, while longtime backfield mate Tevin Coleman is now with the 49ers. Dirk Koetter is replacing Steve Sarkisian as the team's offensive coordinator, hoping to establish a better rushing attack with the help of two first-round picks on the offensive line (Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary). While his recent track record with running games isn't encouraging, Koetter hasn't had much backfield talent to work with since Doug Martin had a big year for the Bucs in 2015. It could be more of the same if Freeman struggles with injuries, as the backup situation doesn't inspire much confidence, featuring Ito Smith, Qadree Ollison, Brian Hill and Kenjon Barber. Freeman should stay busy whenever he's healthy.

May 23, 2019 2:48 PM EST

Devonta Freeman News

Austin Seferian-Jenkins: Sits out OTA

Seferian-Jenkins didn't participate in Thursday's voluntary OTAs, the Boston Herald reports.

Analysis: Seferian-Jenkins' absence was excused, but the tight end is expected to return for the team's upcoming minicamp. Once he takes the field with his new team, Seferian-Jenkins will compete for tight end snaps with Benjamin Watson and Matt LaCosse, among others, as the Patrios look to fill the void created by the retirement of Rob Gronkowski. While Seferian-Jenkins has yet to establish himself as a consistent fantasy option, the 2014 second-rounder does bring a nice combination of size and athleticism to the table. Though his role in the New England offense has yet to be determined, there's potential value to had in whichever tight end eventually secures the largest share of targets vacated by Gronkowski.

May 23, 2019 2:08 PM EST

Austin Seferian-Jenkins News