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Takkarist McKinley will practice today, Devonta Freeman and Derrick Shelby improving

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Sakk McKinley returns to practice today, suggesting he’s ready to play against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons struggled defensively during the overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints, thanks in part to countless injuries to starting defenders. The biggest missing player from Sunday’s game was Takkarist McKinley. He had two sacks in only two games so far this season, and the defensive line was lifeless without him.

The good news is it appears McKinley is back, per head coach Dan Quinn.

Atlanta needs McKinley back, and they need him back ASAP. The fact that he’s participating in the first practice of the week is a huge plus. Short of any setbacks, it seems exceedingly likely that he plays on Sunday.

As far as Devonta Freeman and Derrick Shelby, Quinn has been unusually optimistic and vague regarding injuries. I’d like to say they have an outside shot at playing, but it’s possible that next week is more likely.

Either way, at least the Falcons are finally getting players back and not losing them to injured reserve for once.