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Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons 

5 things we learned at Falcons practice

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By D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH -- The first regular-season practice is in the books. Here's what we learned today: 

1.      Injury report: Four Falcons starters did not practice Monday: kicker Matt Bryant (back), linebacker Stephen Nicholas (quadriceps), cornerback Asante Samuel (quadriceps) and wide receiver Roddy White (ankle). The official injury reports are not released until Wednesday, but Smith said all four players would be ready to play Sunday. “They are working well,” Smith said. “We are looking forward to having everybody available for the game on Sunday.” Practice-squad guard Phillipkeith Manley left the field with what appeared to be a left ankle injury and did not return.

2.      Renfree on radar: The Falcons could have reached an injury settlement and released rookie quarterback Sean Renfree after he hurt his shoulder during the final exhibition game. Instead the team placed him on injured reserve to keep him as a developmental prospect. “We like Sean a lot in terms of his skill set,” Smith said. “We feel very good about what Sean did for us in the preseason.” The Falcons selected Renfree in the seventh round of the draft out of Duke. In three exhibition games Renfree completed 13 of 25 passes for 84 yards.

3.      Backup kicker: With Bryant out, punter Matt Bosher kicked field goals during practice, and quarterback Matt Ryan took on Bosher’s usual duties as the holder.

4.      Number change: Linebacker Paul Worrilow changed his uniform number to 55 after wearing 49 during the preseason.

5.      Pickups: Linebacker Robert James and guard Jacques McClendon both were claimed off the waiver wire after the Falcons released them Saturday. The Ravens claimed James, and the Jaguars claimed McClendon.

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