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Takkarist McKinley expected to play vs. Jets Friday night

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It’ll be a short night for the world-eating defensive end, but hopefully a fruitful one.

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

Takkarist McKinley was coming off an injury this summer, and so when he suffered a shoulder injury in training camp, the Falcons were justifiably cautious about it. They held McKinley out of a series of practices, with the vague hope that he’d be ready to go for the first preseason game.

Sure enough, Takk is back.

The Falcons are unlikely to let Takk play a full half or anything like that, but he’ll get a series or two with the first team defense to warm up and get ready for the preseason games and actual games ahead. Those reps are still important for McKinley, who is entering his second season with sky-high expectations for his pass rushing production and overall ability to impact games. We’ll get at least a glimpse of Takk, Vic Beasley, Grady Jarrett and Jack Crawford, the presumptive starting defensive line, and hopefully they’ll wreak a little havoc to get us even more excited for the season ahead.

As for Takk, there’s no reason to tamp down your enthusiasm for the season ahead so long as he’s healthy. This is a man who broke down the other day why he should have had 13 sacks in his rookie season and is a bear to deal with off the edge on his worst day, and he’s got some weak tackles to feast on even if he’s not elite from week-to-week. We should see a small smackerel of that talent on display against the Jets, so get excited for that.