RB Steven Jackson returns to Falcons’ practice
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Steven Jackson practiced on Monday for the first time in almost a month, and Falcons coach Mike Smith said the running back is on schedule to be play in Atlanta’s season opener against New Orleans.
Jackson had not practiced since July 28, when he hurt his right hamstring. There was added concern because the running back missed four games with a left hamstring injury last season. Because it was the preseason, the Falcons took a cautious approach to Jackson’s recovery.
Jackson, who also had not been available for interviews since the injury, said Monday he always knew this hamstring injury was less serious.
“I knew this injury was nothing like last year,” Jackson said. “But at the same time, you have to listen to your body. I wanted to make sure I did that. In the NFL season, you don’t get time. This time I had time to make sure I was right.”
Jacquizz Rodgers has started at running back in Atlanta’s first three preseason games. Antone Smith and rookie Devonta Freeman have been the top backups.
Smith would not say if Jackson will play in the Falcons’ final preseason game at Jacksonville on Thursday night. Some established starters are not expected to play.
“In terms of what we’re going to do with playing time, there will be some guys that will and there will be some guys that won’t,” Smith said.