The winless Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday traded Eric Dickerson, the NFL’s No. 2 career rusher, to Green Bay for running back John Stephens.
In a separate deal, defensive back Bruce Pickens went to the Packers for a conditional draft pick.
“It will give Eric a chance to play, to start,” said Falcon President Taylor Smith. “Green Bay was real interested in getting him and for us it was a chance to get a big fullback in Stephens, something we didn’t have. It just made sense to do it at this time.”
Dickerson was acquired from the Raiders during the summer and started the first two games of the season for the Falcons. He played in four games, rushing 26 times for 91 yards.
Pickens, the Falcons’ first-round pick--third overall--in 1991 from Nebraska, had played 20 games, with eight starts, in three seasons. He started the first four games this season, but sat out the last game because of a hamstring injury.
Stephens started five games with the Packers this year, gaining a team-high 173 yards.
Smith said Stephens will be in Atlanta on Thursday for a physical examination and would not be available to play in the Falcons’ game against the Rams.
Down to only three healthy players on its defensive line, the Washington Redskins signed 11-year veteran defensive end Keith Willis. Willis, cut by Buffalo in the preseason, joins backups Sterling Palmer, Jim Wahler and Al Noga as the Redskins’ only defensive linemen not having some kind of injury after their 41-7 loss Sunday to the New York Giants.