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Marlon Davidson still sidelined, cuts are looming for Falcons

Training camp is inching closer to a close, and all we’re really looking for is a healthy and effective team.

NFL: AUG 04 Falcons Training Camp Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome back, everyone. I appreciate everyone conversing respectfully yesterday, and while I’m under no illusions about minds being changed, I hope that the message being delivered by athletes and to a much lesser extent by us is something you’re hearing and considering.

This morning, let’s see what’s going on with the Falcons, who are getting awfully close to playing their season opener against the Seahawks.

Marlon Davidson still out

Davidson is maybe my favorite rookie from the class, a wrecking ball of a man who could be Grady Jarrett’s long-term partner in destruction if all goes well. We don’t know what his 2020 outlook is going to be, and unfortunately a knee strain has limited his time on the practice field recently.

With Tyeler Davison on board and guys like Steven Means, Allen Bailey, and John Cominsky expected to play inside this year, Davidson won’t have to immediately walk into a huge role. The sooner he’s healthy, though, the sooner he can show the Falcons what he can do, which will hopefully be enough to help lift up this defense.

Cuts are a week away

This offseason has been both impossibly long and seemingly has flown by. I was legitimately jarred by this D. Orlando Ledbetter reminder that cuts are just a week away.

We’ll be lining up our latest roster projections next week, but I can’t remember ever being less certain about the last few spots on the roster, to say nothing of the practice squad. Everything is a little more remote and second hand this year and the Falcons have more tough decisions than I remember them having a year ago, with the expanded practice squad looming as a particularly interesting item for us to consider in case the league can’t keep COVID-19 clamped down. I certainly hope they can.

Matt Hennessy appears to be locking up the LG job

The Falcons made it clear after they drafted Hennessy that they’d like him to play guard in his first season, which foreshadowed their interest in having him start at left guard spot that was a turnstile a year ago. With the coronavirus pandemic impacting on-field time for rookies, I had my doubts that he’d be able to push his way past the competition and start right away.

Things lined up well for Hennessy, however, and he’s taken full advantage. The rookie reportedly has looked pretty polished in practice, and with Jamon Brown cut and Matt Gono working as a backup at both guard and tackle, his sole competition with James Carpenter, who was not great last year. Ledbetter reported that Carpenter didn’t practice Thursday, and if he’s going to miss even a little bit of time he’s probably handing the job to Hennessy outright.

Hennessy still seems like the heir apparent at center when Alex Mack moves on next year, but hopefully he’ll fare well at left guard this year.

Dan Quinn and Steven Means weigh in on doing more

The Falcons were not among the teams who elected not to practice Thursday, but they didn’t exactly stick their heads in the sand, either.

Quinn talked about what it means for him to do more, and if it was light on specifics it’ll hopefully be followed by action.

“Certainly, coming from my end of things, how as a white coach can I become a better ally? Because the stories that you have heard bothered you so much to say, ‘Hey man, I support you’ just wasn’t enough,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “So, learning about experiences that have taken place, hearing about those, those really bothered me deep down. I just wanted to get to this space to say, ‘Hey, just saying I support you just isn’t enough.’ That, to me, was saying, ‘What does that look like? What does an ally look like in this space?’ Because I wanted to have a bigger role.”

Means, meanwhile, talked about what athletes are thinking and facing right now, and what it’s meant to have the organization listening, if nothing else.