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Dan Quinn: Takk McKinley may debut against Steelers

We’re all eager to see McKinley hit the field, and we might get the chance to soon.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons-Training Camp Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

We’re over a week away from the second preseason game, which will pit the Falcons against the Steelers. The good news is that while we wait, Takkarist McKinley is recovering, and that means we might see him play.

Dan Quinn wasn’t super happy with the pass rush he saw against the Dolphins, which was understandable given how inconsistent it proved to be. McKinley’s absence made you wonder what he might be able to do, and while I want him to be brought along slowly to ensure he’s fully healthy before he takes the field, I’m also eager to see him in action.

McKinley’s talent is such that he may be able to deliver a pass rushing presence opposite Vic Beasley, something the Falcons sorely need with Dwight Freeney kicking around in free agency. The consistency of the depth is still a concern here, but the sooner we get McKinley in action and playing at a high level, the better. The Steelers would be a nice test, too, given the relative strength of their offense.

All of this is a long-winded way of saying I’m hopeful he’ll be healthy enough to hit the field on August 20th, because as long as he is ready to go, the preseason experience will be valuable. I’m still hopeful that the Beasley, McKinley, Derrick Shelby, Adrian Clayborn and Brooks Reed quintet will deliver a new level of pass rushing prowess this year, but a lot of that does depend on what Takk can do.