ATLANTA -- The Falcons took the field at Mercedes-Benz Stadium for their first full practice since their preseason opener, but there were a number of players held out.
James Carpenter, who is in the midst of a position battle with Jamon Brown at the left guard spot, went off to the side at the very beginning of practice and was looked at by a trainer. The trainer stretched out Carpenter’s right leg for a moment, but the 6-foot-5, 321-pound lineman was eventually taken back inside the tunnel. He did not return to practice. While speaking with the media, coach Dan Quinn explained Carpenter has a hip flexor injury but the severity of the injury has yet to be determined.
Linebackers Foye Oluokun and Duke Riley were on the sideline during practice, but neither player had their helmets or participated in drills. Oluokun has a strained oblique, Quinn said following practice, and Riley has been sidelined with a groin injury. Rookie receiver Marcus Green was also held out of practice after sustaining a hamstring injury during the Falcons’ first preseason game. Ra’Shede Hageman also left Thursday’s game due to a groin injury and did not participate in practice. Desmond Trufant was also held out with a slight back strain.
Hill continues to make a strong case
Brian Hill led the way for the Falcons during their 14-10 loss to the Broncos, gaining 57 yards on 11 carries and catching a 1-yard touchdown pass. He continued to standout during Atlanta’s practice on Sunday. Hill broke a couple of long runs during the team’s first 11-on-11 period, including one that may have been a touchdown even in a live game.
After practice, Quinn explained that behind Freeman the Falcons will look at utilizing specific skill sets rather than setting a true No. 2 back. Hill has pushed himself prominently in the mix with Ito Smith, Kenjon Barner and Qadree Ollison to earn a role behind Freeman. Quinn also complimented Hill’s effort on special teams, which is one of the fastest ways to make an NFL roster in the fall.
- Deadrin Senat looked really sharp when the defensive line squared off against the offensive line for a period during practice. He split a double team between the center and left guard, and he later beat a lineman one-on-one for what would have likely been a sack.
- Rookie John Cominsky was another defensive lineman who won his individual matchup during that period, blowing past his offensive counterpart.
- Speaking of winning a matchup, Takk McKinley did this against Logan Paulsen:
- During an early 11-on-11 period, Vic Beasley made a nice play to earn a tackle for a loss, and he followed that up with a good speed rush around the end for what would have been a sack.
- Recently signed linebacker Richie Brown earned a sack in 11-on-11 and then knifed through the defense to make a would-be tackle behind the line of scrimmage on an outside zone run play.
- Austin Hooper continues to be a reliable weapon for Matt Ryan in crunch time. He drew the first two targets from Ryan in the 30-second drill near the middle of practice.