Senat collected 30 tackles, two tackles for loss and three QB hits for the Falcons in 2018. Senat did not end up settling into a feature role during his rookie season out of South Florida, logging just two starts and playing 34 percent of the snaps for a Falcons defense that ranked 25th against the run in 2018. With Terrell McClain's contract expiring this winter, however, it's foreseeable that Atlanta will embrace the youth movement and make Senat a more integral part of the team's identity defensively. Senat was a dominant run stopper during his collegiate career, and showed enough potential during his debut NFL campaign to merit increased playing time moving forward.
Head coach Dan Quinn said Thursday that Senat was inactive against New Orleans due to a coach's decision to have more pass rushers available in the defensive rotation, Kelsey Conway of the Falcons' official site reports. The rookie third-round draft choice wasn't acquired with the expectation that he would be a game-wrecking pass rusher, but coming off a six-sack season as a senior at South Florida, his goose egg in the sack column is slightly disconcerting. Senat has come close on a couple occasions at least, registering three quarterback hits this season despite only playing 33.5 percent of Atlanta's defensive snaps. The most discouraging aspect of this 2018 campaign for Senat is the fact that opposing starting running backs have rushed for over 285 yards and three touchdowns in his two starts. (James Conner and Nick Chubb combined for 394 total yards and four touchdowns in Week 5 and Week 10.) It remains to be seen if Senat will be reactivated for the Falcons' next game against Baltimore, facing a Ravens offense that elects to pass 59.1 percent of the time.
Senat (neck/shoulder) was a full participant in Thursday's practice, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports. Senat was limited in practice to begin the week, but he appears on track for Sunday's game against Washington. The third-round rookie has served a valuable rotational role on Atlanta's defensive line this season, but he could see a slight decrease in defensive snaps with Grady Jarrett having returned to full health.
Senat was a limited participant during Wednesday's practice due to neck and shoulder injuries, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports. The third-round pick has been a useful depth piece for the Atlanta defensive line this season, posting 18 tackles through seven games. While Senat won't be asked to play major snaps Week 9 against the Redskins now that Grady Jarrett is back to full health, Atlanta would surely like to have the rookie available to rotate in with Jarrett, Jack Crawford and Terrell McClain. Senat should clear up any concern about his status for the weekend by practicing fully Thursday and/or Friday.
Head coach Dan Quinn said that Senat had his best game of the season in Week 5 against Pittsburgh, Kelsey Conway of the Falcons' official site reports. The rookie third-rounder had a season-high five combined tackles while logging more than half of the defensive snaps against the Steelers in Grady Jarrett's absence. His defensive snap count steadily ascended from 27.8 percent in Week 1 to 59.0 percent in Week 5, and he figures to remain heavily involved against Tampa Bay's 30th-ranked rushing offense Sunday with Jarrett slated to miss his second straight.