Following the first week of training camp, a lot has happened for the defending NFC Champions.
The Atlanta Falcons started training camp last Wednesday. Like all camps, there is much to acknowledge even though it is just a few days out of the starting gate.
Devin Fuller is out for the season
The biggest and most heart-breaking news is wide receiver Devin Fuller’s injury. On Friday’s practice, Fuller injured his knee on a non-contact play, but was able to limp off the field.
News broke the next day he would miss the entire season. This is the second year in a row Fuller will be injured before playing in a regular season game. He was a strong favorite to get the punt returning job and perhaps duties on the kick return team.
Fuller was a seventh-round selection in 2016 out of UCLA.
Kazee earning attention
For personal reasons, safety Ricardo Allen was excused from practice on Saturday. It left the door open for rookie defensive back Damontae Kazee.
Kazee got more reps due to Allen’s absence. According to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he didn’t look out of place. Head Coach Dan Quinn didn’t think so either.
“He did fine,” Quinn said. Quinn drafted Kazee in the fifth round of the draft. “He fit right in. He made the calls. He’s got a good partner to go along with in Keanu (Neal) back there, so we were pleased to see that.”
Robert Alford looks legit
If there is one reliable member of the secondary, it is cornerback Robert Alford.
Multiple reporters have praised what they have seen from Alford so far in camp. When asked about his No. 1 corner, Quinn had nothing but praise.
“He’s really fit,” Quinn said to the media. “He’s using that strength at the line of scrimmage you can feel that confidence that comes with a little extra strength, a little extra weight with the same speed. More than anything, you feel the physical presence with him.”
Matt Ryan approves of Austin Hooper
Not much to say, other than allowing quarterback Matt Ryan speak for himself about his tight end Austin Hooper.
“I expect a lot,” Ryan said in his post-practice press conference. “Hoop’s done a great job for us. He played at a high level for us as a rookie. And I think having this offseason to be able to spend time in the facility, learn, catch his breath a little bit … I’m just impressed with the way that he works. He’s dedicated. He wants to be a great player. And when you have guys like that, it’s exciting to be around them.”