Falcons Training Camp: Friday updates and practice highlights

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The Atlanta Falcons will kick off their 2022 preseason in one week against the Detroit Lions. Before that happens, the team has a few more days of practice and on Friday, the players put in another solid day of work.

In our latest Falcons recap, we look at the major takeaways from Friday’s practice, including injury updates, highlights and some possible free-agent options for Atlanta at defensive tackle.

Kyle Pitts catches the ball, drops it, then catches it again

Kyle Pitts’ rookie season was impressive, but the former No. 4 overall pick in last year’s draft looks poised to take his game to another level in Year 2. We’ll see if the team can better utilize Pitts in the red zone this season (one touchdown in 2021).

Jalen Mayfield out with lower back issue

Falcons offensive lineman Jalen Mayfield could be in danger of losing his starting job at left guard this season with Elijah Wilkinson getting the nod over him all week. However, Mayfield has apparently been suffering from a lower back injury that kept him out of practice on Friday, head coach Arthur Smith said.

DT Anthony Rush and RB Damien Williams return

Anthony Rush, who appears in line to start at nose tackle for the Falcons this season, returned to practice on Friday after missing Wednesday’s session. Running back Damien Williams was also back out there on Friday, per ESPN’s Michael Rothstein.

Feleipe Franks making plays at TE

Feleipe Franks at tight end might actually work out for the Falcons if the past few days are any indication. Franks has great size and speed, it just depends on other aspects of his game — like catching and blocking — that will determine his success of failure. It’s been an encouraging start for Franks, and he added another good day of practice on Friday, per team reporter Tori McElhaney.

Falcons secondary, including Mike Ford, standing out at practice

Falcons defensive back Mike Ford — along with the entire secondary as a whole — has received quite a bit of praise this week from the team’s various beat reporters. As you can see in Falcoholic reporter Kevin Knight’s video, Ford and second-year safety Richie Grant shut down WR Frank Darby in this Wednesday practice rep.

Friday highlights

Former Bulldog Travon Walker gets sack in NFL debut

Leading up to this year’s draft, Travon Walker was believed to be in play for the Falcons at pick No. 8, but Jacksonville honed in on the former Bulldog with the No. 1 overall pick, to the surprise of many. Last night, Walker had a few nice highlights in his NFL debut for the Jags, who lost to the Raiders in Thursday’s Hall of Fame game.

Falcons free-agent DT options

Atlanta lost Vincent Taylor for the season after he ruptured his Achilles in practice this week. We look at 11 potential free-agent options for the Falcons to sign as a replacement for Taylor.

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Story originally appeared on Falcons Wire