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ATLANTA – The Atlanta Falcons waived Brian Banks, a linebacker who was attempting to make a late start to an NFL career after spending five years in prison on a conviction that was later overturned.

The 28-year-old Banks spent five years in prison and five years on probation after his conviction of rape and kidnapping charges a decade ago.

The woman who made the charge when Banks was 16 later recanted her accusation.

The conviction was overturned by a California court last year.

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Banks had two tackles, including one for a loss, in the Falcons’ 20-16 exhibition-season loss to Jacksonville on Thursday night. He was listed as the third-string middle linebacker and faced an uphill battle to make the roster.

“Brian is a guy that has not played football in 10 years,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said.

Banks, who attended minicamp with the Seahawks last year, signed with the Falcons in April.

The Falcons trimmed their roster to 62 players on Friday.

All rosters must be down to 53 players by 3 p.m. PDT Saturday.

Jaguars cut Trufant

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars cut 21 players, including ex-Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant, 32.

First-year Jacksonville coach Gus Bradley was Seattle’s defensive coordinator the past four seasons.

Quarterbacks Mike Kafka and Matt Scott were cut.

Evans is suspended

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati defensive end DeQuin Evans has been suspended for the season’s first eight games.

Evans violated the policy on performance-enhancing substances for a second time, league officials announced.

Evans, 26, served a four-game suspension in 2011 and hasn’t played yet in the regular season for Cincinnati.


LaMichael James, a return specialist and reserve running back for San Francisco, has a sprained ligament in his left knee and is expected to miss the 49ers’ opener Sept. 8 against Green Bay, according to The Sacramento Bee.

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