Shark Bites

Falcons HC Dan Quinn revealed on Monday that RB Devonta Freeman is in the concussion protocol. Freeman departed practice on Sunday. “I didn’t think he was going to come back,” Quinn said after Sunday's practice. “He had some heat stuff that he dealt with from the first practice and again (Sunday.)” We'll update Freeman's status when we learn more.

The Falcons and RB Devonta Freeman have agreed to a 5-year, $41.25 million extension, according to NFL Network's Michael Silver. That $8.25 million annual average makes Freeman the highest-paid RB in the league. The extension locks him up in Atlanta through the 2022 season. Freeman will be 31 years old when the deal expires. This stabilizes the dynasty value of a RB who's finished top 6 in both PPR and non-PPR scoring the past 2 seasons. It also puts a dent in RB Tevin Coleman's ceiling. He's signed in Atlanta for another 2 seasons.

Falcons WR Julio Jones joined team drills Wednesday for the 1st time in training camp, according to ESPN's Vaughn McClure. More importantly, it marked his 1st full practice since the latest procedure on his left foot back in March. Jones said through the offseason that the operation wasn't a big deal, but it'll be nice to see him prove it on the field over the next few weeks. Of course, we already didn't have any trouble taking him in the middle of Round 1 of fantasy football drafts this year.

Falcons HC Dan Quinn said Wednesday that WR Julio Jones (foot) will be limited to begin training camp. That he'll be out there at all this early on is a good sign. Jones is returning from surgery to remove a bunion from his left foot on March 6. There's been nothing to suggest that it'll be an issue when Week 1 rolls around.

Falcons RB Tevin Coleman has put on 10-15 pounds this offseason, according to CBS Sports' Pete Prisco. Prisco classifies it as "good weight." We don't have any concrete data, but it sure seems like RBs who add weight tend to struggle. It's especially concerning for a RB like Coleman who relies on speed and explosion. We're not moving him in the RB rankings, but he already felt overvalued at his 5th-round ADP.

New Falcons OC Steve Sarkisian is looking to get WR Julio Jones more red zone targets this season. "When you have a player like Julio, it's making sure we maximize his opportunities because there is so much double-coverage, there are so many unique coverages that roll his way that when we don't get that, let's make sure he's one of the primary receivers on that play because it is such a tough matchup for anybody one on one," Sarkisian said. Hallelujah! Jones' 9 red zone targets last year ranked 6th on his own team. That number deserves to at least double in 2017. (Jordy Nelson led the league last year with 29 red zone looks.) A spike in TD production should follow for Jones, who scored just 6 times last year.

Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) is targeting the start of training camp for his return to full action. He's spent the offseason recovering from surgery to remove a bunion from his left foot. The procedure had nothing to do with his twice-fractured right foot. “I just had to get something repaired,” Jones said of the March surgery. “That was it. It was light." This particular issue shouldn't be a concern in 2017, although Jones' durability remains a sticking point. He's missed 17 games through 6 NFL seasons. Of course, he's also finished among the top 6 WRs in fantasy points per game in 4 straight years.

The Falcons used a 5th-round pick on Wyoming RB Brian Hill. A workhorse over the past 2 seasons, Hill racked up 3,491 rushing yards with 28 scores. It took him 630 carries to get there, though — a mediocre (for a college back) 5.5 yards per carry. Hill has good size at 6’1, 219 pounds and registered a 50th percentile SPARQ score. But we didn’t see anything to get excited about on tape. He’ll sit behind Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman this year. Freeman is currently set to hit free agency next offseason.

The Falcons traded up from 31st overall to 26th to draft edge rusher Takkarist McKinley. We'll see whether the Atlanta scheme sets him up at DE or OLB. McKinley overcame injuries to rack up 10 sacks and 18 total tackles for loss in his final season at UCLA. He should pair with Vic Beasley to beef up the Falcons pass rush in a defense with plenty of fantasy football upside.

Falcons WR Taylor Gabriel on Saturday signed his 2nd-round tender as a restricted free agent. That will keep him in Atlanta for 2017. We'll see if the 2 sides work out any extension beyond that. Gabriel cracked the top 50 among WRs in PPR points per game but ranked just 90th at the position in targets and enjoyed a high TD rate. He'll have a tough time delivering predictable, usable fantasy value without a significant increase in his role.

Falcons WR Julio Jones is expected to be ready for the start of training camp, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Jones underwent what was deemed a minor foot surgery on March 6. He was in a boot but getting around without crutches at an appearance on Wednesday. “I’m good,” Jones said. "My thing right now is recovery." We'll continue to track his progress. For now, there's no reason to believe the procedure will impact Jones' 2017 campaign.

Falcons WR Julio Jones had what the team calls a "minor foot procedure" on Monday. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport hears that the surgery addressed a bunion that "had bothered him for years." We don't have any details on how long Jones will be sidelined, but this doesn't seem like something that will impact his 2017 season. Still, durability remains an issue for a guy who's missed 17 games over 6 NFL seasons.

The 2016 Falcons led the league in scoring and finished 2nd in total yards. So, not surprisingly, they don't want to alter the offense, despite the departure of OC Kyle Shanahan. "We love the way that we attack, and it took a lot of work to put that system in place," HC Dan Quinn said. "Along with [GM Thomas Dimitroff], we have a real emphasis now on how we can fit guys into that system. It's very important that we stay consistent with that." In theory, it's good news for QB Matt Ryan and Atlanta's skill-position guys. But we'll see exactly how similar the offense is under new OC Steve Sarkisian.

Falcons WR Julio Jones told reporters on Tuesday that he'll be evaluated in March to determine if he needs toe surgery. Jones suffered the injury -- either turf toe or a sprain, depending on who you ask -- in Week 13 and missed the next 2 games. He was dominant the rest of the way, though, even despite aggravating the issue in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. We'll keep an eye on whether Jones goes under the knife and how long he's sidelined for. Durability remains a concern for a guy who's missed 17 games over 6 seasons. But Jones has still finished as a top 6 PPR WR in 3 straight years. He'll be an early- to mid-1st-round pick in 2017 fantasy drafts.

The Falcons are set to hire Steve Sarkisian as their new OC, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The 42-year-old has spent the bulk of his coaching career so far in the NCAA. His only NFL experience was as the Raiders' QB coach in 2004. (Kerry Collins was his starter.) Sarkisian has loads of talent to work with in Atlanta. But, at least on paper, he's a significant downgrade from Kyle Shanahan.

Falcons WR Julio Jones (toe) isn't listed on the final injury report. He was officially limited in Friday's practice after sitting out the previous 2 days, but HC Dan Quinn said Jones "looked good" and "won't have any limitations" on Sunday vs. Green Bay. It's still tough to believe that he'll be anywhere close to 100%, but Jones is still capable of being a difference-maker this weekend.

Falcons HC Dan Quinn said Monday that WR Julio Jones (toe) will be "ready to rock" for Sunday's NFC Championship against the Packers, although he'll be limited in practice this week. Jones aggravated the toe injury he originally suffered in Week 13 and was sidelined for much of the 4th quarter of Saturday's win over the Seahawks. He ended up playing a season-low 58.3% of the snaps. Quinn's optimism -- and the fact that Jones will practice at all this week -- are obviously good signs, though. We'll keep an eye on him.

Falcons WR Julio Jones aggravated his sprained toe in Saturday's win over the Seahawks, HC Dan Quinn said afterward. Jones was noticeably hobbled at multiple times during the game and was sidelined late in the 4th quarter. "No concern, at the moment," Quinn said. "We'll have more information on that later. It will be sore, but he's certainly somebody that's able to battle through it. So, I anticipate him being ready to rock next week." We'll be on Julio Watch throughout next week.

When asked if he'd monitor the snaps of WR Julio Jones in Sunday's finale, Falcons HC Dan Quinn said Friday: "He looked good over the last couple of days, so I'm not going to monitor him. If it gets sore, then we'll take him out. He looked good in practice today. He looked strong. He looked explosive." That comes via ESPN's Vaughn McClure. The "if it gets sore" reminds everyone that there's some re-injury risk to Jones. But this is certainly a positive take overall. He's a must-play for season-long formats and a high-ceiling option for DFS lineups.

Falcons WR Taylor Gabriel (foot) is out for Sunday's game against the Saints. We don't have any details on the injury or know whether he'll be available for the playoffs. Gabriel's absence leaves Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Justin Hardy and Aldrick Robinson as Atlanta's top 4 WRs.

 
 
 

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