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Smith Confirms Signing of Former Titan LB

The Atlanta Falcons filled an open roster spot on Monday with a veteran linebacker.

Veteran linebacker Daren Bates broke the news on social media that he was headed to the Atlanta Falcons. 

Falcons head coach Arthur Smith confirmed the news on Monday at his press conference.

"Yeah, we're adding him to the practice squad," said Smith after being asked about Bates' social media post.

The Falcons had a roster spot open after cutting kicker Elliot Fry and linebacker George Obinna from the practice squad last week.

Bates has spent eight years in the NFL with three teams. He's familiar with Smith, because he spent the last four seasons with the Tennessee Titans where Smith was an assistant coach before taking the head job with Atlanta.

Bates is originally from Olive Branch, Miss. and played his college football down the road from Atlanta at Auburn University.

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Bates was an undrafted free agent signed by the then St. Louis Rams in 2013. He played three seasons in St. Louis and one season with the Oakland Raiders before his four seasons with the Titans. 

A former safety at Auburn, Bates was undersized for a linebacker, but had good speed. His pre-draft measurements showed him at 5'10 5/8", 210 pounds and 4.53 speed in the forty.

He has carved out a nice career for himself on special teams through the years. He's only missed 10 games in his eight-year career, but he only has 122 snaps on defense as compared to 2,684 on special teams.

Bates will wear #53 for the Falcons.

Next up for Atlanta will be a road trip to take on the 1-5 Miami Dolphins. Miami lost in London on Sunday to the previously winless Jacksonville Jaguars. 

It's a good chance for Atlanta to even its record at 3-3, and the oddsmakers have Atlanta as a slight favorite or even on Sunday.