Falcons’ Drake London returned to practice

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons wide receiver Drake London, the eighth overall pick in this year’s NFL draft, returned to practice Monday.

London was seen working with wide receivers coach T.J. Yates during the open media portion of practice with a sleeve on his left leg. London was injured in the Detroit game Aug. 12 and has not practiced since.

“He’s progressing,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith said before practice.

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The Falcons didn’t place London on injured reserve, so they are hopeful that he can play against the Saints on Sunday in the season opener. Smith will release his first league-mandated injury report Wednesday.

”We’ll see what he looks like,” Smith said.

The Falcons did place linebacker Deion Jones (shoulder surgery) and nickel back Isaiah Oliver (knee surgery) on injured reserve last week.

“Because we didn’t feel like they were ready, very simple,” Smith said. “Both of them are ramping up and coming off of offseason surgeries. Thought there were some mental hurdles they cleared, but I didn’t feel that they were 100%.”

Jones came off the physically-unable-to-perform list, while Oliver practiced during training camp and played in the final exhibition game.

“We thought it expedited (Oliver’s) return by practicing,” Smith said. “We had to make a decision as an organization and talking with the player and medically, they are not quite at 100% yet.”

The Falcons also placed defensive tackle Marlon Davidson (knee surgery), left guard Jalen Mayfield (lower back) and tight end John FitzPatrick (undisclosed) on injured reserve last week.

Long snapper Beau Brinkley (Achilles) and nose tackle Vincent Taylor (Achilles) already were on injured reserve.

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