Practice report: Jalen Mayfield shifting positional focus

Rookie now joining Falcons' left guard competition after starting camp at tackle

Atlanta Falcons offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield #77 in action during the AT&T Atlanta Falcons Training Camp at Atlanta Falcons Headquarters in Flowery Branch, Georgia, on Tuesday August 10, 2021. (Photo by )

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Jalen Mayfield has spent most of training camp working at right tackle. The third-round NFL Draft pick was focused there during early portions of the summer, practicing with the first unit while Kaleb McGary was on the physically unable to perform list.

He's moving inside now, ready to compete with Josh Andrews for the left guard spot. Despite playing tackle at the University of Michigan, Mayfield's versatility suggested he could excel inside at the NFL level.

He'll get the opportunity to do so now, with a new positional focus.

"This is only going to help Jalen," head coach Arthur Smith said. "Having played tackle, now we're moving him inside, where he played in the spring. I won't keep mixing and matching. I gave him a couple weeks and now we're moving him back.

"We also know that, if we're in dire straits during the season, we can kick him back out there."


This will be a big week for the right tackle spot. McGary's back working with the first team after easing back in immediately following his PUP stint. He should be the frontrunner to keep a starting role he has owned since the 2019 season. Jason Spriggs, back in action Monday after a few days off rehabbing an injury pre-dating him joining the Falcons, is also in the mix to play there. So is Willie Beavers, who has played on the right and left and has a chance to be the team's swing tackle.

The upcoming joint practices with the Miami Dolphins and the preseason game that follows them will be huge for the offensive front. Roles need to get sorted out and a starting five must be found with enough time to build cohesion down the preseason's home stretch, and that should happen during their time in South Florida. That will give the line one preseason game and two more practice weeks to get in sync before the regular seasons starts.

Cominsky in concussion protocol

Smith said that defensive lineman John Cominsky is in the NFL's concussion protocol after getting hurt during Friday's preseason game against Tennessee. He will not participate in joint practices with Miami, nor will he play Saturday's preseason game against the Dolphins.

In other injury news, defensive lineman Marlon Davidson missed Monday's work but shouldn't be out long. Running back Qadree Ollison has had the non-contact jersey he wore last week removed and is back to full participation. Receiver Austin Trammell was also back working on Monday after being sidelined for a stretch.

Catch of the day

This one belongs to receiver Calvin Ridley, who snagged a touchdown in heavy traffic late in Monday's practice while sprinting across the end zone. Quarterback Matt Ryan delivered a perfect pass that somehow got through the defense and found its intended target. Ridley came down with the ball despite Isaiah Oliver being there in tight coverage, with his hand trying to swipe the ball away.

A look at linebacker Mykal Walker at work and more from Day 14 of 2021 AT&T Atlanta Falcons Training Camp.

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