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Taylor Gabriel will join Julio Jones on the field tonight

May they both impress and stay healthy.

NFL: Super Bowl LI-New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

There is a strong preference, when it comes to preseason, to keep your starters off the field as much as possible. The reality is that there aren’t enough practices to get everyone up to speed each summer, and preseason games have to fill in that gap. That doesn’t mean players come off injury need a ton of preseason game time to get ready, especially when they’re savvy veterans who also happen to be vital pieces of the Falcons’ offense.

That’s the case for Julio Jones and Taylor Gabriel, who will get a handful of snaps tonight against the Cardinals to knock off the rust, and then probably won’t play again until the regular season opener. That’s fine by me, even though I wish they weren’t playing at all, just to be safe.

May both Julio and Gabriel play a handful of snaps, reel in a catch or two apiece, and exit the game as healthy as they entered it. That is my fondest wish.