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Dante Fowler Moves to Falcons COVID List

It's a big season for Dante Fowler and the Atlanta Falcons, and he's not off to a good start.

Dante Fowler was the fifth Atlanta Falcons placed on the Injured/COVID-19 list this week.

The Falcons made the move on Wednesday evening. Fowler joins defensive lineman John Atkins, defensive end Kobe Jones, tight end Lee Smith, and center Willie Wright.

As had been reported multiple times, being placed on the list doesn't necessarily mean there was a positive test. Players who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive are also placed on the list.

Per NFL protocols, players will isolate and attend team meetings via vido conference until they are cleared.

READ MORE: Falcons Unlikely to Face COVID Related Sanctions

Newly acquired tight end Lee Smith was the biggest name on Monday, Fowler is the highest profile player to be added to the list thus far.

Fowler signed a big-dollar free-agent contract of three years and $48 million prior to the 2020 season. His 2020 campaign was a disappointment with just three sacks and 23 tackles.

The Falcons reworked his contract including a pay cut and voiding the final year of his deal. Fowler is a free agent after this season.

The Falcons have put themselves in position to be out from under his contract, an $11 million cap hit this year, or motivate Fowler to get the best of him.

READ MORE: Dante Fowler: From Bust to Breakout

Fowler had 11.5 sacks for the Rams in 2019, prompting the big contract from then general manager Thomas Dimitroff.

Fowler turns 27 on August 3, and he and the Falcons would like him to play his way into another big contract this year.

He's missing the beginning of training camp under new coach Arthur Smith and new defensive coordinator Dean Pees. The Fowler family is meanwhile dealing with a grim non-football issue as Dante's brother, Dontario, has been arrested in Florida on murder charges.

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Fowler is not off to a good start to the 2021 season.