Falcons' Umenyiora adjusting to reserve role

Veteran pass rusher Aaron Wilson

Print This December 18, 2013, 08:45 AM EST

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Atlanta Falcons veteran defensive end Osi Umenyiora is adjusting to a reserve role after starting the first 13 games of the season.

Now, he contributes off the bench.

Umenyiora recently spoke with coach Mike Smith about his change of status, according to defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.

"As I’m sure Mike told you, he had a conversation with Mike and it went very well, was my understanding," Nolan said, per ESPN. "And Osi expressed the same thing, that it went real well."

Jonathan Massaquoi started in place of Umenyiora at right defensive end against the Washington Redskins.

Umenyiora had a sack and forced fumble against Washington. He leads the Falcons with 7.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.

"I thought he did an outstanding job in the game when he did go in," Nolan said of Umenyiora. "He was fresher. He was better prepared for the third down because of that. You know, when you play every down, it can wear on you.

"Whatever’s best for them to perform at the highest level is what you want to do, and I think that did help him perform at a high level. I mean, he got the only sack we had in the game. It was a sack-fumble as a matter of fact, and we a got a touchdown out of it … the offense did."

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.

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