Former Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Steven Means — now with the Atlanta Falcons — suffered an Achilles injury and will miss the entire 2019 NFL season. The team confirmed as much in an official announcement.
This is a bummer. Means is a hard-working guy who helped the Eagles a lot behind the scenes en route to their Super Bowl win. Means took it upon himself to study tape of upcoming opponent pass rushers and replicate their moves during practice in order to prepare the Eagles’ offensive line for game day. Philadelphia’s offensive linemen credited Means for sharpening them into arguably the league’s top blocking unit.
It was disappointing to see the Eagles cut Means prior to the 2018 season but he ultimately ended up signing with the Falcons. He actually played a career high 162 snaps with Atlanta before re-upping with the Dirty Birds earlier this offseason.
Our colleagues over at The Falcoholic have some analysis on how the Means injury impacts the Falcons:
It’s hard, hard news for Means, a journeyman who found a home in Atlanta and was being primed for a bigger role in the team’s defensive end rotation. He signed a one-year extension in February and was one of the team’s only moves at the position this offseason. The move puts Atlanta in a bit of a bind. Means projected to be a key player in the team’s base defense, a role he grew into in 2018. Right now, the Falcons don’t have ton of depth at the position, and his loss puts the onus on rookie edge John Cominsky to play a bigger role in the rotation. Cominsky came into the University of Charleston as a quarterback, and needs development as an NFL defensive end.
The Eagles play the Falcons in Atlanta this season so Means was originally set to face his former team. Now he won’t be available for that Week 2 contest.