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Falcoholinks: All the Falcons news you need for Monday, July 27

Training camp starts this week. This is not a drill.

Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Training camp gets underway this week, so we’ve got news on some looming Falcons decisions and a look at some of the presumptive starters in today’s edition of Falcoholinks.

Player profiles

Our ‘player profiles’ series continues with a look at the offense. Jake Matthews is locked in as the Falcons’ left tackle, and will look to burnish his reputation as one of the league’s top pass-blocking tackles.

Calvin Ridley enters his third year in the NFL as Atlanta’s No. 2 receiver, and if he continues his stellar level of play, the Falcons could have a pair of 1,000 yard receivers by season’s end.

When the Falcons drafted Russell Gage in 2018, we weren’t quite sure what his exact role would be. But in the past two seasons he’s been one of Matt Ryan’s more reliable targets in the short area of the field, and really took advantage of the WR3 spot in the wake of Mohamed Sanu’s departure.

Jamon Brown will be one of the primary contenders to seize the spot at left guard — and considering his subpar season in 2019, he will have to put a lot of solid reps on tape in training camp to edge out the competition.

Todd Gurley weighs in on 2020 season

The Falcons are counting on newly-signed running back Todd Gurley to lead the charge on the ground, but if the NFL does not formulate the proper structure to play during the pandemic, he indicated that he is prepared to sit out the season.

Decisions ahead

There’s a very important deadline tomorrow: The Falcons have until Tuesday to decide on the compilation of their camp roster. They’re currently carrying 90 players and they will need to whittle that down to 80 prior to Tuesday’s deadline, or they can elect to split their camp into two 45 man groups.

Practice squad expansion

Some good news for the UDFAs that will be unable to compete for roster spots due to the NFL nixing the preseason: The NFL and the NFLPA have agreed on a season pact that will expand practice squads to 16 players.

Pivotal moments

We recently looked back at two of the most pivotal moments in Atlanta Falcons history: The selection of Matt Ryan in the 2008 NFL Draft and the hiring of Thomas Dimitroff’s as Atlanta’s GM that same year.