Falcons could have better picture of Deion Jones after a week

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC

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Falcons coach Arthur Smith on the start of training camp, which opened Wednesday in Flowery Branch.

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons linebacker Deion Jones, who underwent offseason shoulder surgery and is on the physically-unable-to-perform list, is being closely monitored by the team.

“We’re just taking it day by day,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith said Wednesday after practice. “We don’t have a set time on it. I’m looking forward to getting him back. ... Hopefully, he gets healthy and comes out there and competes. ... I’ll have a clearer picture in probably about a week.”

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Jones, a Pro Bowler after the 2017 season, ranked second on the team with 137 tackles last season.

The Falcons signed linebacker Rashaan Evans in free agency and drafted linebacker Troy Andersen in the second round (58th overall). Also, the Falcons signed veteran Nick Kwiatkoski.

Evans and Kwiatkoski have started games in the NFL. Andersen is a fast linebacker like Jones, but he may need some NFL seasoning.

Evans and Mykal Walker received most of the snaps at inside linebacker over the offseason.

Also, fullback Keith Smith (knee) and defensive tackle Vincent Taylor (knee) were back on the field, along with cornerback Isaiah Oliver, who’s trying to rebound from knee surgery.

“We’ll evaluate them every day,” Smith said. “All of those guys who are coming off of something. Day 1, snap judgment, I thought they looked pretty good.”

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