Aaron Wilson of Scout.com tweets that the Falcons have reached an injury settlement with tight end Justin Peelle, resulting in his release from the team.
Peelle hurt his knee during the Falcons preseason opener against the Dolphins, and his future began to look bleek when the Falcons lured free agent Reggie Kelly out of retirement earlier this week to fill his roster position.
Peelle first joined the Falcons in 2008 as a reserve experienced in Mike Mularkey’s offense from their shared days with the Dolphins in 2006 and 2007. He wound up starting much of that season, replacing an injured Ben Hartsock and caught 15 passes. With the acquisition of Tony Gonzalez the following off-season, Peelle returned to his reserve role. He missed three games last season due to a sports hernia, but combined for 22 catches in 28 games with 16 starts during the past two years.
Peelle’s departure creates more opportunity for young tight end Michael Palmer to move up on the team’s depth chart. Kelly is set to sit out Friday’s preseason contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars, making Palmer the favorite to be the primary backup to Gonzalez in 2011.