Falcons’ Drake London misses practice, likely out for the week

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Falcons rookie wide receiver Drake London, who suffered a knee injury against the Lions on Friday, did not practice on Sunday.

“We’ll be smart,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith said in a transcript provided by the team. “He’s had a really good training camp.”

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The Falcons have a public practice on Monday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and joint practices with the New York Jets on Friday and Saturday before their exhibition game against the Jets on Aug. 22 at MetLife Stadium.

Smith said London would “probably not” return this week and then added “it’s nothing we’re concerned about long term.”

London played at USC and was taken eighth overall in the NFL draft. He is key to the Falcons’ plans for 2022. He made a catch for 24 yards before leaving the game against the Lions.

The Falcons are playing this season without Calvin Ridley, who has been suspended indefinitely for gambling, and Russell Gage, who left for Tampa Bay in free agency.

Here’s what Smith said when asked whether London’s injury makes him adjust his plans for the exhibition season:

“Are you scared when you wake up in the morning that you’re going to get into a car accident driving to work?” Smith said. “No? OK. We know it’s a tough business and it’s an unfortunate part that injuries happened this game, but everybody steps out there whether it’s practice; I’ve seen guys get hurt in walk-throughs.

“Am I going to stop having walk-throughs? You’re done if you stand there and live in your fears, and we try to be smart and think things through, and if it’s something that we think that maybe you could coach a bit differently. Yeah, if that may have caused something, but in the moment of the game. Those things can happen in practice all the time, so I don’t know how else to tell you.”

He was later asked if London would return at all for the exhibition season.

“We’ll see,” Smith said. “We’ll assess it week to week, and we’ll make the best decision. He’s had a really great camp. He’s got his feet wet, and I’m pleased with him, but like all of our guys, the No. 1 decision we make is to make sure the health and safety of the player and how it affects him and the team, and that’s where we start.

“We’ve got a great medical staff, Jake Pfeil and his crew do a great job, Dr. Kyle Hammond does a great job, so we’re pleased with where we’re at. Like I said, ultimately guys are at different spots, and we’ve got to make sure we’re ready to go for the regular season as well.”

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