Poole tallied 74 tackles (53 solo), including three sacks, and six passes defensed, including three interceptions, across 16 games in 2018. Poole had his best season as a pro in 2018, setting career marks in every category except passes defensed. He's operated as the team's nickel cornerback behind starters Robert Alford and Desmond Trufant. Barring a roster shift at the position, Poole will figure to play a similar role for the team in 2019.
Poole had seven tackles (three solo), an interception and a fumble recovery in Sunday's win over the Panthers. Poole has been heavily active over the last three games with 19 tackles (12 solo), two interceptions, a sack and a fumble recovery. The 26-year-old played 77 of 91 defensive snaps Sunday, second only to Desmond Trufant among Atlanta cornerbacks.
Poole collected six combined tackles, two pass deflections and an interception during Sunday's 34-29 win against Tampa Bay. Poole has taken advantage of ample playing time this season with defensive backs Keanu Neal (knee) and Ricardo Neal (Achilles) both on injured reserve. The 25-year-old has fielded 81 percent of the defensive snaps this year, following a more modest 60.1-percent timeshare in 2017. During a crucial Week 6 victory over Tampa Bay, Poole came up big once again by intercepting a deflected pass in the end zone to keep the Bucs at a two-possession deficit early in the second half. Next comes a Monday night showdown against the Giants, and a passing offense that ranks in the bottom half of the league with 260.8 yards per game.
Poole (thumb, toe) was listed as a limited participant for Thursday's practice, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports. Poole has been limited in consecutive practices to start the practice week, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Atlanta is extremely thin in the defensive backfield with season-ending injuries to Ricardo Allen (Achilles) and Keanu Neal (knee). Going up against Andy Dalton and Cincinnati's 12th-ranked passing offense, the Falcons will want Poole in the lineup so long as it does not come with a high probability of re-injury.
Head coach Dan Quinn mentioned that Poole may shift to safety with recent injuries to Keanu Neal (knee) and Ricardo Allen (Achilles), D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The Falcons defense has been absolutely ravaged by injury just three weeks into the 2018 season, and the safety position is no exception. Poole is a versatile defensive back with ability to both cover out of the slot and rush the passer, meaning he may be the most sensible option for Quinn to shift from cornerback to safety. Atlanta has some flexibility at cornerback, where the team can potentially shuffle Robert Alford to nickelback in place of Poole, while activating rookie Isaiah Oliver as a starter.