The Atlanta Falcons announced Tuesday that they have signed free agent linebacker Phillip Wheeler.
Wheeler is an eight-year NFL veteran who has yet to play in the 2015 season. Drafted in 2008 by the Indianapolis Colts, he played four seasons with Indy, one with the Oakland Raiders and his last two with the Miami Dolphins.
According to NFL.com, Wheeler played one preseason game with the San Francisco 49ers this year and was released after that. He went unsigned until now.
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A year ago, Wheeler played 15 games for the Dolphins, racking up 46 tackles – his lowest total since his rookie year. But in the first seven years of his career, he only missed four games total.
Wheeler is a familiar name around Atlanta, as he was a star linebacker for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. His college career spanned from 2005 through 2007, and in those three seasons, he recorded 243 tackles, 18 sacks and four interceptions.
Wheeler is expected to provide depth to a linebacking corps that is a little banged up. Justin Durant has been fighting an elbow injury, though he’s expected back for this weekend’s game against the Tennessee Titans, NBC Sports reported.
So far, the linebacking trio of Durant, Paul Worrilow and O’Brien Schofield have combined for 79 tackles this season, NFL.com added. They’ve also been a key part of the rushing defense that ranks No. 1 in the NFL, allowing just under 79 yards per game.
To make room on the roster, the Falcons have parted ways with safety Charles Godfrey, the team announced.
Photo via Associated Press