5 things to know about the Falcons on Thursday

072916 FLOWERY BRANCH: during training camp on Friday, July 29, 2016, in Flowery Branch. Curtis Compton /ccompton@ajc.com

072916 FLOWERY BRANCH: Falcons All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones during training camp on Friday, July 29, 2016, in Flowery Branch. Curtis Compton /ccompton@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH — Here are five things to know about the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday.

1. Exhibition opener. The Falcons open the exhibition season against Washington at 7 p.m. at the Georgia Dome. The starters are not expected to play very much.

2. Injury update — Will Neal play? Rookie strong safety Keanu Neal (trunk) and running back Terron Ward (ankle) are not expected to play against Washington. Tight end Levine Toilolo (hand) is more likely to play. The team is expected to announce their status for the game 90 minutes before

Georgia running back Keith Marshall runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Georgia running back Keith Marshall runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

kickoff. Washington coach Jay Gruden has declared tight end Jordan Reed (right thumb), wide receivers Jamison Crowder (hamstring) and Randy Diggs (knee) out for the game. Gruden will make game-time decisions on linebacker Preston Smith (Stephenson High/shoulder) and left tackle Trent Williams (knee).

3. Rookies to get action. The Falcons are not expected to expose the starters to many snaps. Here are five things to watch.

4. Keith Marshall returns. Former Georgia standout Keith Marshall was drafted by Washington in the seventh round of the draft. Marshall is listed as the third running back behind Matt Jones and Chris Thompson on Washington’s depth chart.

5. Gray signed. With running back Terron Ward slowed by an ankle injury, the Falcons signed veteran running back Cyrus Gray on Wednesday.

With the Falcons opening the preseason on Thursday, which position will be most closely analyzed under the microscope? Watch AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter and Noah Coslov for the answer.

TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE

August

11 – Thursday vs. Washington 7 p.m. (Georgia Dome).

12 – Friday, closed practice.

13 – Saturday, players off.

14 – Sunday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

15 – Monday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

16 – Tuesday, public practice: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

DEPTH CHART for Washington game. The Falcons, who open the exhibition season against Washington at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Georgia Dome released their first official depth chart for the 2016 season.

(The team calls it an ‘unofficial’ depth chart. But if they are releasing it, for our purposes, that makes it pretty official.)

While rookie linebackers Deion Jones and Dominique Campbell have been receiving most of the first-ream action at middle and weakside linebacker, veterans Paul Worrilow and Sean Weatherspoon are listed as the starters.

Also, rookie tight end Austin Hooper is listed as the No. 2 tight end ahead of veteran Levine Toilolo.

Recently acquired defensive end Dwight Freeney is listed as the third defensive end behind Adrian Clayborn and Brooks Reed.

On special teams, Tevin Coleman is listed as the No. 1 kickoff returner and Eric Weems as the top punt returner.

Here’s how the depth chart is stacked heading into the exhibition opener:

OFFENSE

WR Julio Jones, Justin Hardy, Eric Weems, Devin Fuller, Jordan Leslie, Corey Washington

LT Jake Matthews, Tom Compton, Laurence Gibson

LG Andy Levitre, Wes Schweitzer, Collin Rahrig

C Alex Mack, Ben Garland, Jake Reed

RG Chris Chester, Mike Person, Michael Huey

RT Ryan Schraeder, Bryce Harris, Shahbaz Ahmed

TE Jacob Tamme, Austin Hooper, Levine Toilolo, D.J. Tialavea, Joshua Perkins, Arthur Lynch

WR Mohamed Sanu, Aldrick Robinson, Nick Williams, J.D. McKissic, David Glidden

FB Patrick DiMarco, Will Ratelle

QB Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, Sean Renfree, Matt Simms

RB Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, Terron Ward, Gus Johnson, Brandon Wilds

FB Patrick DiMarco, Will Ratelle

DEFENSE

DE Adrian Clayborn, Brooks Reed, Dwight Freeney, Nordly Capi

DT Tyson Jackson, Jonathan Babineaux, Cory Johnson, Brandon Williams

DT Grady Jarrett, Courtney Upshaw, Joey Mbu, Chris Mayes

DE Derrick Shelby, Ra’Shede Hageman, Malliciah Goodman, Efe Obado

LB Vic Beasley, Philip Wheeler, Tyler Starr, Ivan McLennan

LB Paul Worrilow, Deion Jones, LaRoy Reynolds

LB Sean Weatherspoon, De’Vondre Campbell, Matt Wells

CB Robert Alford, Jalen Collins, C.J. Goodwin, David Mims II, Jordan Sefon

CB Desmond Trufant, Akeem King, Brian Poole, DeMarcus Van Dyke, Devonte Johnson

FS Ricardo Allen, Robenson Therezie, Sharrod Neasman

SS Keanu Neal, Kemal Ishmael, Damian Parms

SPECIAL TEAMS

K Matt Bryant, Nick Rose

KO Matt Bosher

P Matt Bosher

KR Tevin Coleman, Eric Weems, Devin Fuller, J.D. McKissic

PR Eric Weems, Devin Fuller, J.D. McKissic

LS Josh Harris

H Matt Bosher

ICYMI — TRAINING CAMP STORIES

Falcons’ offensive improvement starts with Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan resting well with Alex Mack on hand

Dwight Freeney: ‘I still have a lot to give’

Jones-Sanu tandem is still developing chemistry

Falcons release first 2016 ‘official’ depth chart

Cover 9@9: Sacks are finally important

Freeney excited about working with Vic Beasley    

LG Andy Levitre working to eliminate his penalties

PHOTOS: Falcons prepare for first exhibition game

5 quick questions with offensive line coach Chris Morgan

90-MAN ROSTER ANALYSIS — POSITION BY POSITION

OFFENSE

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Quarterbacks

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Running backs

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Wide receivers

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Tight ends

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Offensive line

DEFENSE

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Defensive line

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Linebackers

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Defensive backs

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Specialists

 

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