USA Today

Atlanta adds depth to its linebackers corp with the signing of Philip Wheeler

The Falcons needed help at linebacker and signed former Georgia Tech star Philip Wheeler.

Falcons’ linebacker Justin Durant joined the Falcons with a reputation for not being able to stay healthy. He had started just 12 games of 16 played in the last two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. Now, Durant’s latest injury has forced the Falcons to look for outside help at the linebacker position.

With Durant’s left elbow giving him trouble, the Falcons signed free agent Philip Wheeler Tuesday. Wheeler was a third round pick for the Colts out of Georgia Tech in 2008 and spent four seasons with Indianapolis. Wheeler was with the Raiders in 2012 before spending the last two seasons with the Dolphins.

Wheeler started four games last season in Miami, with 15 games played. He was the main starter at linebacker in 2013 starting all 16 games.

Durant has missed the last two games after starting the first four. Durant had 28 combined tackles for the Falcons.

Atlanta released safety Charles Godfrey to make room for Wheeler on the roster.

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at Follow Bill at and email him at

Falcon Insider Top Stories