Falcons’ Isaiah Oliver wants some action before the season starts

Falcons cornerback Isaiah Oliver, who is coming back from knee surgery, wants to get some action in the exhibition season.

Oliver was held out against the Lions on Friday. Mike Ford started at nickel back.

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“I definitely want to test it before (the season starts),” Oliver said Monday night after the practice at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. “That’s going to come from talking to Coach (Arthur Smith), with the athletic trainers and just getting a plan together. For me, I definitely want to get out there in (an exhibition game) for sure.”

Oliver’s practice load has increased.

“I’ve been able to get back to live reps, a few of them every day, has been a big help for sure,” Oliver said. “You just have to get all the reps that you can.”

Oliver, who was moved to nickel back in the 2020 season, was injured against Washington on Oct. 3.

“The rehab part is not that much fun,” Oliver said. “We’re here now, so I’m in a much better space.”

Oliver is fine with his return-to-play plan.

“It’s hard,” Oliver said. “That’s what they say the toughest part about it is with long-term rehabs. But even if it feels good, it looks good, you might not still be ready to go play a full football game, even though I feel like I am mentally.

“That has been the hardest part over these last few weeks. We are getting closer and closer. So, I know at one point it’s going to happen.”

Oliver wants his practice time and playing time to increase.

“Just getting more comfortable would be the easy way to put it,” Oliver said. “The knee feels good when I’m doing the drills and playing football. It feels fine. I guess I kind of have to get more comfortable back in the technique and doing the things how they need to be done.”

Oliver has a few observations about the 2022 team.

“More depth, for sure,” Oliver said. “I can say that is the thing that I first notice, and I think that we are more physical. I think that is a testament to (Smith) and kind of what his plan was, especially with this training camp. We are much more physical, and we have a lot more guys who can go out there and impact the game.”

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