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Falcons injury update: Julio Jones, Takk McKinley back at practice, Derrick Shelby again out

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Good news for Atlanta as the ‘Aints await.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Well, DE Takk McKinley would up being ruled out despite returning to practice.

The Falcons are slowly but surely getting healthier after Sunday’s new rash of injuries.

Jason Butt with The Athletic was on hand for Friday’s practice and noted that two important figures are back in action.

We all kind of figured WR Julio Jones would be good to go for Sunday’s tilt versus the Saints, but it’s reassuring to see he’s back out there. DE Takkarist McKinley out with his helmet on is an encouraging sight after he injured his groin against Carolina.

The team still might limit his snaps Sunday to make sure he doesn’t aggravate anything, but this is a sure sign he’s at least going to be active this week and will get some snaps.

Though, there’s another defensive end who doesn’t look like he’s going to play.

DE Derrick Shelby not practicing Friday gives a sure signal he’s most likely not going to play this week, which means recently-acquired DE Steven Means will most likely take his snaps. We’ll see how Means does, a preseason favorite who some believe has untapped potential.

Reserve LB Corey Nelson, who got injured at practice this week, also look unlikely to play, which leaves the team a bit thin at linebacker. It’s more than likely the team will just try to ride with what they’ve got. LB Richard Jarvis is around if they need him, though.

We all knew about RB Devonta Freeman missing this week, too, so here’s hoping the dual-attack of Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith can continue to shine.

As for the Saints, DT Tyeler Davison is not expected to play after the team signed DT Jay Bromley this week. LB Manti Te’o was also out Thursday. A few other notable names were limited.