First round draft choice Peria Jerry, dangerous return man and slot receiver Harry Douglas and versatile veteran safety Brian Williams will all be ready to participate in drills for the start of Training Camp, Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff and Head Coach Mike Smith said Tuesday.
All three missed most or all of the 2009 season with knee injuries and have been fixtures in the training room throughout the offseason rehabilitating from their injuries.
"They will start on a limited basis and we're going to monitor them and manage them throughout training camp," Smith told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Tuesday morning. "They will not be involved, to start with, in two-a-days. They will be practicing once a day and we'll bring them along very, very slowly."
Jerry should give a boost to a defensive line that amassed 28 sacks in 2009 (16th in NFL) and a defense that was dead last league-wide on third down conversion percentage (45% of third downs converted).
Williams was a key cog on a young secondary, seeing time at both cornerback positions, in nickel situations and occasionally at safety.
Douglas had high hopes for 2010, and he was tabbed by fantasy football enthusiasts in the preseason as a potential "breakout player." Certainly, having Douglas in the mix will open up some possibilities for Mike Mularkey and the Falcons offense, as the slippery Douglas - or "HD" as he's known around the Falcons facility - was a bear for opposing defenses to deal with in the seams.
Camp gets underway on Friday with the first practice commencing at 8:30 am and an afternoon session getting underway at 3:45 pm. Fans are invited to attend both free practices on Friday, with gates opening one hour prior to the practice start times. For updates on practices and inclement weather, fans are encouraged to monitor the Falcons official Twitter feed: @Atlanta_Falcons.