Smith: Jenkins to play this weekend at Philadelphia

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After being held out since training camp, Falcons head coach Mike Smith said Monday that wide receiver Michael Jenkins will play against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Jenkins was sidelined after injuring his shoulder during the Falcons' Friday Night Lights scrimmage event in August and only returned to limited participation in practice within the past three weeks

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — For weeks, Falcons fans have been wondering when they were going to see Michael Jenkins back on the field and in uniform.

Monday afternoon, head coach Mike Smith put the wonderment to rest. Michael Jenkins will play against the Philadelphia Eagles this weekend, Smith said during his Monday news conference.

"He has been medically cleared. He has been cleared to practice over the last three weeks, so Michael Jenkins has gotten a final clearance from the medical staff," Smith said. "He'll be participating in the ballgame this weekend."

Jenkins injured his shoulder during the Falcons' Friday Night Lights scrimmage event Aug. 6 on a long pass play. The initial time frame for Jenkins' return was 4-to-6 weeks, but it went a bit longer than that.

Wide receiver Matt Ryan has been filling in for Jenkins at the No. 2 position. Getting Jenkins back, Smith said, will help get the passing game going even more than it has been.

"I think when you get your No. 2 receiver back — we've been playing without him through the first five games — that it's going to give him an opportunity to make plays in terms of his contribution catching the football," Smith said. "Michael's also a very good blocker. I think it's going to allow Matt and the offense to distribute the ball a little bit differently. I think, now, when they try to take certain segments of our offense away, we're going to have more options."

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