Ishmael (shoulder) practiced with the linebackers Tuesday, Vaugn McClure of ESPN reports.
It was reported earlier in the offseason that Ishmael would be working with the linebackers when he recovered from shoulder surgery. Formerly a free safety, Ishmael played in just 27.9 percent of Atlanta's defensive snaps in 2016, but he managed to record 52 tackles. The position change will allow him to better utilize his skills as a tackler and could result in an increase in snaps for the 26-year-old defender.
Ishmael (shoulder) will play outside linebacker exclusively in the spring, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
Ishmael was listed as a free safety on last year's depth chart, but with the Falcons releasing Philip Wheeler and Vic Beasley being more of a pass rusher, they are looking to Ishmael to fill a more traditional strong-side linebacker role. He recorded 52 combined tackles while playing only 27.9 percent of Atlanta's defensive snaps in 13 games last season before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury, so the Falcons will be hoping he can successfully bring his tackling abilities from safety to linebacker in the coming months.
The Falcons needed to bring back depth in their secondary, and Ishmael will fit in well as a top-three safety next to Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal. The 25-year-old only played nine games for Atlanta in 2016 due to a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 13 but was able to record 52 tackles in his limited time.
Ishmael (shoulder) didn't return to Sunday's game in Los Angeles, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
Primarily a special teamer the past seven games, only four of Ishmael's 52 tackles this season have been recorded during that stretch. As such, he doesn't hold any sway in IDP formats, even when healthy.
|P1||8/10/17||@ MIA||7:00 pm|
|P2||8/20/17||@ PIT||4:00 pm|
|1||9/10/17||@ CHI||1:00 pm|
|3||9/24/17||@ DET||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 5|
|7||10/22/17||@ NE||8:30 pm|
|8||10/29/17||@ NYJ||1:00 pm|
|9||11/5/17||@ CAR||1:00 pm|
|11||11/20/17||@ SEA||8:30 pm|
|15||12/18/17||@ TB||8:30 pm|
|16||12/24/17||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|