The Falcons have dealt with some key injuries in recent seasons, and coach Dan Quinn says they are taking steps to keep a few of their prominent players healthy ahead of an important 2020 campaign.
Safety Keanu Neal is among those players who have suffered injuries the past two seasons, and he is coming off of an Achilles tear that cost him much of 2019. While he's back on the field and participating in conditioning drills, the Falcons will keep a close eye on Neal's health during training camp.
In addition to Neal, there are two offensive players who Atlanta's coaches will be monitoring. Running back Todd Gurley will draw attention due to the questions about his knee that resulted in the Los Angeles Rams limiting his workload last season, and center Alex Mack will get some veteran rest days as he did during training camp in 2019.
Although all three players will likely have some limitations in practice as the team prepares for the season, the Falcons will approach each individual situation differently.
"For sure one size doesn't fit all," coach Dan Quinn said. "So, sometimes you're monitoring reps. 'OK, I'm going to put him from a certain amount down to a lower amount,' and sometimes it might be a day off where it's not back-to-back-to-back. So, for sure we've gone through that process with a number of players as we get into the training camp portion.
"There will be some players who have limited reps or an off day occasionally just to make sure – just keep hitting the markers of where we're at. All three of the players that you said would be on different ones but could certainly have some limitations here and there – not physically – but more for just their overall longevity and where they're at."
Other veteran players such as Julio Jones or Grady Jarrett could also potentially receive some breaks from the grind of training camp, but Quinn did not specifically reference any other players besides Neal, Gurley and Mack.
With no preseason games taking place in 2020, the Falcons plan on holding many scrimmages to simulate game-like situations. Given that the coaches have a full idea of what the veterans on the roster are capable of, those scrimmages may very well feature many of the Falcons' younger players fighting for roster spots.
Staying healthy will be important if Atlanta is going to fulfill its mission of making it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2017, and the Falcons are taking proper precautions to keep their players fresh and ready to go.
The Atlanta Falcons are back to work as 2020 AT&T Training Camp kicked off in Flowery Branch. Take a look at the best images from Day 1.