FLOWERY BRANCH — Here are five things to know about the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday.
1. Exhibition opener. The Falcons open the exhibition season against Washington at 7 p.m. at the Georgia Dome. The starters are not expected to play very much.
2. Injury update — Will Neal play? Rookie strong safety Keanu Neal (trunk) and running back Terron Ward (ankle) are not expected to play against Washington. Tight end Levine Toilolo (hand) is more likely to play. The team is expected to announce their status for the game 90 minutes before
kickoff. Washington coach Jay Gruden has declared tight end Jordan Reed (right thumb), wide receivers Jamison Crowder (hamstring) and Randy Diggs (knee) out for the game. Gruden will make game-time decisions on linebacker Preston Smith (Stephenson High/shoulder) and left tackle Trent Williams (knee).
3. Rookies to get action. The Falcons are not expected to expose the starters to many snaps. Here are five things to watch.
4. Keith Marshall returns. Former Georgia standout Keith Marshall was drafted by Washington in the seventh round of the draft. Marshall is listed as the third running back behind Matt Jones and Chris Thompson on Washington’s depth chart.
5. Gray signed. With running back Terron Ward slowed by an ankle injury, the Falcons signed veteran running back Cyrus Gray on Wednesday.
With the Falcons opening the preseason on Thursday, which position will be most closely analyzed under the microscope? Watch AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter and Noah Coslov for the answer.
TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE
11 – Thursday vs. Washington 7 p.m. (Georgia Dome).
12 – Friday, closed practice.
13 – Saturday, players off.
14 – Sunday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
15 – Monday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
16 – Tuesday, public practice: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
DEPTH CHART for Washington game. The Falcons, who open the exhibition season against Washington at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Georgia Dome released their first official depth chart for the 2016 season.
(The team calls it an ‘unofficial’ depth chart. But if they are releasing it, for our purposes, that makes it pretty official.)
While rookie linebackers Deion Jones and Dominique Campbell have been receiving most of the first-ream action at middle and weakside linebacker, veterans Paul Worrilow and Sean Weatherspoon are listed as the starters.
Also, rookie tight end Austin Hooper is listed as the No. 2 tight end ahead of veteran Levine Toilolo.
Recently acquired defensive end Dwight Freeney is listed as the third defensive end behind Adrian Clayborn and Brooks Reed.
On special teams, Tevin Coleman is listed as the No. 1 kickoff returner and Eric Weems as the top punt returner.
Here’s how the depth chart is stacked heading into the exhibition opener:
WR Julio Jones, Justin Hardy, Eric Weems, Devin Fuller, Jordan Leslie, Corey Washington
LT Jake Matthews, Tom Compton, Laurence Gibson
LG Andy Levitre, Wes Schweitzer, Collin Rahrig
C Alex Mack, Ben Garland, Jake Reed
RG Chris Chester, Mike Person, Michael Huey
RT Ryan Schraeder, Bryce Harris, Shahbaz Ahmed
TE Jacob Tamme, Austin Hooper, Levine Toilolo, D.J. Tialavea, Joshua Perkins, Arthur Lynch
WR Mohamed Sanu, Aldrick Robinson, Nick Williams, J.D. McKissic, David Glidden
FB Patrick DiMarco, Will Ratelle
QB Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, Sean Renfree, Matt Simms
RB Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, Terron Ward, Gus Johnson, Brandon Wilds
FB Patrick DiMarco, Will Ratelle
DE Adrian Clayborn, Brooks Reed, Dwight Freeney, Nordly Capi
DT Tyson Jackson, Jonathan Babineaux, Cory Johnson, Brandon Williams
DT Grady Jarrett, Courtney Upshaw, Joey Mbu, Chris Mayes
DE Derrick Shelby, Ra’Shede Hageman, Malliciah Goodman, Efe Obado
LB Vic Beasley, Philip Wheeler, Tyler Starr, Ivan McLennan
LB Paul Worrilow, Deion Jones, LaRoy Reynolds
LB Sean Weatherspoon, De’Vondre Campbell, Matt Wells
CB Robert Alford, Jalen Collins, C.J. Goodwin, David Mims II, Jordan Sefon
CB Desmond Trufant, Akeem King, Brian Poole, DeMarcus Van Dyke, Devonte Johnson
FS Ricardo Allen, Robenson Therezie, Sharrod Neasman
SS Keanu Neal, Kemal Ishmael, Damian Parms
K Matt Bryant, Nick Rose
KO Matt Bosher
P Matt Bosher
KR Tevin Coleman, Eric Weems, Devin Fuller, J.D. McKissic
PR Eric Weems, Devin Fuller, J.D. McKissic
LS Josh Harris
H Matt Bosher
ICYMI — TRAINING CAMP STORIES
90-MAN ROSTER ANALYSIS — POSITION BY POSITION