Running back Brian Hill, a graduate of Belleville West, was waived by the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday.
Hill, who turns 22 on Nov. 9, was drafted by the Falcons in the fifth round April 29 after a stellar career for the University of Wyoming.
In three seasons with the Cowboys, the 6-foot-1, 219-pound Hill set school records with 4,287 rushing yards and 35 touchdown runs. Hill had 1,860 yards and a single-season school record 22 rushing touchdowns as a junior.
In 26 carries for the Falcons, Hill gained 41 yards in the preseason, an average of 1.6 yards per carry. His longest run was for 6 yards and he did not score a touchdown.
Hill played in one regular-season game, against the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 1, but had no carries. An ankle injury suffered in the Falcons’ third preseason game, against the Arizona Cardinals, slowed Hill’s development. He did not dress for Atlanta’s season opener at Chicago.
Hill becomes a free agent and can sign with any other NFL team that provides an opportunity. The Kansas City Chiefs reportedly were interested in drafting Hill in April.
The Falcons (3-2) lost to visiting Miami 20-17 on Sunday as they blew a 17-0 lead. The Dolphins (3-2) have linebacker Chase Allen, a Belleville East graduate, on their roster.
Allen, 24, was undrafted but signed a free-agent contract with Miami. He made the team by recording an NFL-high 34 tackles in the preseason.
Allen has 13 tackles in the regular season. He starred at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
David Wilhelm: @DavidMWilhelm