Ishmael moved back to strong safety

Atlanta Falcons safety Kemal Ishmael catches a ball while running a drill during team practice on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, in Flowery Branch.
Atlanta Falcons safety Kemal Ishmael catches a ball while running a drill during team practice on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, in Flowery Branch.

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

Falcons linebacker Kemal Ishmael, who was drafted as a safety, returned to his old position Wednesday.

With strong safety J.J. Wilcox out for the season with a torn right ACL, Ishmael will now see 75 percent of his practice time at safety and 25 percent at linebacker.

“You know he has that in his background,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “He’ll work both, but probably 75 (percent at safety) and 25 (percent at linebacker). He’s had plenty of (experience at linebacker).”

Ishmael, 28, was drafted in the seventh round of the 2013 draft, has played in 81 games and made 20 starts.

He started 10 games at strong safety in 2015.

In 2016, Ishmael, who’s 6-0 and 206 pounds, was moved to linebacker and has played mostly on special teams.

Last season, the former Central Florida star played in 16 games and recorded 10 tackles and a pass breakup over 64 defensive snaps. He played 329 special-teams snaps and had 11 tackles, the second most on the team behind Justin Bethel.

In 2017, he played 114 defensive snaps and 336 special-teams plays.

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