Today, the Atlanta Falcons commenced training camp. As was the case last year, I’ll be collecting and collating the major news and reports from each day of camp.
Only Minor Injuries Affect First Practice
- Falcons star wide receiver Julio Jones went down briefly halfway through practice according to the AJC. He had to get his ankle re-taped by trainers.
- Top rookie draft pick Vic Beasley went down briefly with cramps.
- Starting right tackle Ryan Schraeder suffered a mild muscle strain and was held out towards the end of practice.
- Center Joe Hawley and left tackle Jake Matthews had limited reps in full-team drills. Though that should cause no alarm, as that was reported earlier this week.
Offensive Line Shuffle
- It was Mike Person rather than Chris Chester who got initial first-team work at left guard along the offensive line. Person worked with the first-team throughout the offseason since Chester was only signed by the Falcons in late May. Opening camp with the starters is likely Person’s reward for his hard work during the offseason.
- Tyler Polumbus got work with the starters at both left and right tackle thanks to the limitations on Matthews and Schraeder. Polumbus is the top candidate to be the team’s swing tackle with reserve Lamar Holmes on the PUP list.
Depth Chart Begins to Take Shape
- Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson seems to be taking an early lead in the battle for the No. 3 receiver behind Jones and Roddy White.
- Free-agent cornerback Phillip Adams got first-team work at nickel cornerback, while rookie Jalen Collins worked as a backup to Robert Alford at right cornerback. Adams managed to snag an interception on T.J. Yates during practice.
- Ricardo Allen opened up camp as the starter at free safety.
- Devonta Freeman received the first reps at running back.
Odds and Ends
- Falcons remain vaguely interested in free-agent offensive tackle Jake Long despite the signing of DeMarcus Love earlier this week. Head coach Dan Quinn was vague in addressing Long specifically, but indicated as he has often done this offseason that the Falcons remain interested in any player that they belief can help their roster. Long visited the Falcons on Tuesday but did not leave Atlanta with a contract. He subsequently worked out for the New York Giants and Denver Broncos over the next two days, but both teams also passed on signing him. Long is about nine months removed from tearing his right ACL for the second consecutive year.
- Devin Hester, Eric Weems and Alford were seen fielding punts during practice. Youngsters like Bernard Reedy, Marquez Clark, Nick Williams and Justin Hardy might have to wait to get looks as returners.