THE stop-start American football career of Bendigo-born Sam Irwin-Hill has taken another dramatic twist.
Irwin-Hill has signed with the Atlanta Falcons as a member of their practice squad.
It comes after the Falcons, who are placed fourth in their NFC South division with a 1-4 record, placed regular punter Matt Bosher on injured reserve.
Atlanta elevated Matt Wile to the line-up for last weekend's clash against Houston Texans (a 32-53 loss for the Falcons), opening up a spot on the practice squad for a punter.
Enter Irwin-Hill, who is at his fourth stop on an NFL roster, following off-season stints with the Indianapolis Colts (2015), Dallas Cowboys (2017) and Washington Redskins (2018).
More recently, the 28-year-old signed with the San Diego Fleet of the short-lived Alliance of American Football (AAF) league, but spent the bulk of an abbreviated season on injured reserve.
A dual punter and kicker, Irwin-Hill played in four pre-season games with the Cowboys in 2017 before being cut before the start of the season.
The former Bendigo Pioneers and Eaglehawk footballer averaged 44.3 yards per punt as a junior at Arkansas in 2013 and 40.1 yards as a senior in 2014.
He began his college career by playing two seasons at the City College of San Francisco.
Back in Bendigo earlier this year ahead of the start of the AAF season. Irwin-Hill told the Bendigo Advertiser he was confident his dream of playing in the NFL was not over.
"Not at all .... I am that close to it now that to give up would be cowardly," he said.
"I have always had that persistence and resilience in terms of falling down and getting up.
"My mental mindset has always been strong, especially in understanding the NFL is such a cut-throat business.
"I understand the nature of the game and where to put your emotions and lay them aside.
"At the end of the day it's all just a business and sometimes it comes down to coincidence and timing. If you are in the right place at the right time and you have your best kick ready to go, you are going to be the guy."
With Tuesday's announcement (United States time), Irwin-Hill is again on the cusp of getting his shot at getting an NFL start.
The Falcons travel to Phoenix this weekend to play the 1-3 Arizona Cardinals.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.