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Falcons Lt Jake Matthews Returns To Practice After Foot Surgery

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons starting left tackle Jake Matthews, who underwent surgery in January to repair a torn Lisfranc ligament in his foot, was back on the field for Tuesday's session of organized team activities.

Matthews appeared to run without issue as he participated in early drills. He underwent surgery Jan. 5, and was given a four-month timetable for recovery. There was some belief that Matthews would be held out until training camp in late July.

Matthews' return wasn't the Falcons' only encouraging news on the injury front. Starting strong safety William Moore returned to practice for the first time since undergoing significant right shoulder surgery in the winter. Starting center Joe Hawley was back at practice for the first time since tearing the ACL and MCL in his right knee. And rookie cornerback Jalen Collins, who underwent foot surgery prior to the draft, went through individual drills wearing a helmet.

Also back from injuries were center/guard Peter Konz, who suffered an ACL injury last season, and outside linebacker Brooks Reed, who missed some time recently with a groin injury.

Matthews, Moore, Hawley, Reed, Collins and Konz all were limited. They were all but absent during full-team drills.

Missing from practice again was starting right guard Jon Asamoah, who was held out with an ankle injury, according to coach Dan Quinn. With Asamoah sidelined and Matthews and Hawley limited, the first-team offensive line consisted of Ryan Schraeder at right tackle, Chris Chester at right guard, James Stone at center, Mike Person at left guard and Lamar Holmes at left tackle.

Tackle Sam Baker, still recovering from last year's significant knee injury, was nowhere to be seen. Quinn previously said Baker's rehab has been taking place inside the facility.

Also, rookie first-round pick Vic Beasley was on the field with a helmet but did not see much action. Quinn said Beasley was limited by a shoulder injury.

Linebacker Marquis Spruill, who missed all of last season with an ACL injury, was held out of practice.


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D-Led reported it.....

"Linebacker Marquis Spruill, whos coming back from knee surgery, did not practice. Guard/tackle Sam Baker (knee) and cornerback Dezmen Southward (knee) were not at practice."

OK, so that's 3 not at practice

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It's definitely great to see these guys back on the field. We need to get the starting OLine figured out quick and have those guys taking lots of reps together. I can't believe Baker still can't get on the field. That must have been a very serious injury.

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Baker is beyond frustrating but you have to look at it objectively.

It does us no good to cut him. We don't need the cap space right now, and so waiting another year to cut him makes the eventual dead money significantly less.

Since the money isn't an issue, let's just focus on the football aspect of it. He could be solid depth for a year IF he can actually get healthy (yes, that is a huge "if"). Now with his propensity to injuries, it makes sense to give him as much time as possible to fully heal. He won't be a starter, so there is really not massive need to get him in there sooner than later. Getting healthy & then learning as the season goes is the best case scenario it seems.

Worst case, he comes back, gets hurt yet again, ends up on IR, and then we cut ties next offseason. Either way, his massive contract isn't actually hurting us right now, so it's kind of a non-issue.

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Sam Baker, at this point, is a "nothing to lose" guy. We're not really depending on him for anything, and his salary will be off the books by the time we really need the cap space.

So, hopefully he contributes in some meaningful way this season. But if not, I won't lose any sleep on it.

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