Falcons first-round pick Takkarist McKinley was held out of Thursday’s exhibition opener against the Dolphins. However, coach Dan Quinn is hopeful that the defensive lineman will play against Pittsburgh on Aug. 20.
Several other rookies played well Thursday. Linebacker Duke Riley and defensive back Damontae Kazee played strong games in the 23-20 loss.
“He looked really aware in the system,” Quinn said of Riley. “Some of the time, you are looking for those first-year player mistakes, and he didn’t have a lot of those. ... He looked real comfortable in the system.”
Sean Harlow played 52 snaps at offensive lineman, which was second on the team behind backup center Cornelius Edison.
Tight end Eric Saubert had a dropped pass and a penalty.
Undrafted receiver Reggie Davis had a big punt return and a nice block on Terron Ward’s long run.