Former No. 1 overall pick Jake Long signs with Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons signed former No. 1 overall pick Jake Long on Tuesday.
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The Atlanta Falcons have signed former No. 1 overall pick Jake Long, the team announced Tuesday.

After recovering from a right ACL tear he sustained last October, the offensive tackle was recently cleared to play by orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews and worked out for the Falcons last week. Long missed the last nine games of the 2014 season with the injury.

Injuries have followed Long throughout his seven-year career. He also tore his right ACL and MCL during the 2013 season, and has not played a complete season since 2010.

Despite signing a four-year, $36 million deal with the St. Louis Rams in 2013, his inability to stay healthy led to the team releasing him in March.

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Before repeated injuries forced him off the field, Long started every game for the Miami Dolphins between 2008 and ’10, and was selected to four consecutive Pro Bowls beginning in 2008.

Long, 30, will be a veteran reinforcement for the Falcons, who list their 2014 first-round pick Jake Matthews as the starting left tackle and Ryan Schraeder as the starting right tackle.

Atlanta beat the Philadelphia Eagles 26–24 on Monday night, and will take on the New York Giants in Week 2.

- Erin Flynn and Kayla Lombardo