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Falcons' Vic Beasley Jr. sidelined by shoulder strain

Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Vic Beasley Jr., who played through a torn labrum in his right shoulder last season, is out for Thursday night's game against the Cleveland Browns with an injury to the same shoulder.

The team said Beasley suffered a minor shoulder strain during practice leading up to the game. The second-year player appeared to be limited for 11-on-11 drills during Tuesday's practice.

Beasley is expected back for next Thursday's game against Miami in Orlando, the team said. His status will be worth monitoring regardless. Beasley did not undergo offseason surgery on the shoulder.

Last season, Beasley set a franchise rookie record with four sacks. The No. 8 overall pick in 2015 was far from satisfied but didn't use the shoulder as an excuse for not being more productive.

"No excuses, not at all," Beasley said in December. "I mean, I had the labrum injury, but I'm a tough guy. I play through pain. It hasn't limited me from anything."

The Falcons, who finished with a league-low 19 sacks last season, are counting on Beasley to be productive as a pass-rusher despite being moved to strong-side linebacker. He'll still rush from the left edge in nickel situations and can be an effective blitzer from the Sam linebacker spot.

Veteran pass-rusher Dwight Freeney was signed to help bolster the pass rush. Freeney will make his Falcons debut Thursday night, as will rookie first-round pick Keanu Neal coming off what has been termed a trunk injury.

Also ruled out against the Browns due to injuries were kicker Matt Bryant, cornerback C.J. Goodwin, running back Terron Ward and safety Kemal Ishmael.