Patriots Football

New England Patriots' Danny Etling makes a catch during an NFL football training camp practice, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) ORG XMIT: MASR104

If Danny Etling was on the wrong side of Louisiana's NFL leanings with the New England Patriots, he's now gone over to the NFC South dark side with the Atlanta Falcons. 

The Saints' division rival claimed the former LSU quarterback off waivers just a day after he was cut loose by the New England Patriots, according to a report from Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network

It was the second preseason in a row Etling was cut after becoming a surprise selection in the 7th round of the 2018 draft. The Terre Haute, Indiana, native started at quarterback for LSU in the 2016 and 2017 seasons after beginning his career at Purdue. 

Etling, 25, will compete on the Falcons quarterback roster behind three veterans named Matt. The current backup for entrenched starter Matt Ryan is 38-year-old Matt Schaub. Next in line is 30-year-old Matt Simms, who has played sparingly over six NFL seasons dating back to 2012 -- including a stint with the Atlanta Legends of the short-lived Alliance of American Football. 

If Etling sticks on the Falcons roster, it could be for the work he put in at the wide receiver position this offseason for the Patriots, which served as an amusing subplot to the reigning champions' beginning to training camp. 

"I love playing football, and whatever I can do to keep playing and continue to improve myself as a football player, I'm going to keep doing it," Etling said in July.

Hopping into the NFC South also means Etling's new digs would set him squarely across from one of the NFL's most successful hybrid quarterbacks in Taysom Hill. The Saints and Falcons face off on Nov. 10 in New Orleans, with their second matchup coming less than three weeks later on Thanksgiving. 

Hill, serving his multi-faceted role, rushed five times for 52 yards in the two 2018 matchups in 2018, even notching his first career sack in the second game.

New Orleans has won the past three matchups in the series going back to 2017, the most recent on Thanksgiving last year. New Orleans dominated that game 31-17 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. 


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Email Jeff Nowak at jnowak@theadvocate.com

Twitter: @Jeff_Nowak