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Mike Person and Justin Durant return to practice field, not participating in individual drills yet

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The team's starting center and starting outside linebacker are making progress.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Progress is the word of the week for Mike Person, the Falcons' starting center, as well as linebacker Justin Durant. Both players sat out Thursday Night Football due to injuries.

Person has been a revelation this season, going from journeyman to starting center and blocking extremely well in the run game and solidly in pass protection. He has mostly ironed out the snapping issues that hurt him in preseason, and ironically, those issues appear to have been transferred over to his direct backup, second year center James Stone.

Stone fared reasonably well as a blocker, but he had at least a half-dozen snaps that were pretty lousy, including one where he snapped the ball off his own rear end when Matt Ryan was in the shotgun, leading to a fumble and Saints recovery. The team would certainly prefer to have Person out there, but it's all going to depend on how he progresses this week.

Durant, meanwhile, has now missed two games with an elbow ailment, and will hopefully return against Tennessee. As one of the surest-tackling linebackers on the team and almost certainly the Falcons' best linebacker in coverage, Durant should help get this defense back on track a little bit, even if he's hardly a panacea by himself.

With any luck, both will progress rapidly and return this week against the Titans.