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Falcons injury report: Jake Matthews, Joe Hawley return to practice on a limited basis

Several Falcons are back on the practice field, which is great news.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

We're still a week away from mandatory minicamp, but the Falcons are at Flowery Branch taking part in organized team activities, and there was a ton of good news today.

Joe Hawley also returned, and will likely start pushing for the starting center job immediately.

The biggest name here is Matthews, who will be counted on to start at left tackle and keep Matt Ryan's blindside clean. Matthews had a subpar, injury-marred rookie season, so 2015 will be a critical year for him. Given his obvious ability and motivation, I'm willing to bet we'll see a much better season.

Moore is the obvious starter at strong safety, Collins could be the team's #2 cornerback, Brooks Reed will start at strongside linebacker and Peter Konz will be competing for a roster spot. Getting Collins back is really critical because as a rookie competing for a starting gig with the supremely athletic Robert Alford, he'll need all the reps he can get. In every case, this is encouraging, because the Falcons are going to need more or less every player on this list to contribute in order to be successful in 2015.

On the other side of the ledger, there's still plenty of banged-up Falcons. Vic Beasley has a shoulder injury (though apparently a minor one), while Jon Asamoah, Marquis Spruill, Sam Baker and a few others are still sitting out. Everyone still appears to be on track for the start of the season, but the sooner these players get back in action, the better off the team will be.

Your thoughts on today's injury update?