Peria Jerry on target for regular season

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars finished a fairly action-packed practice a little bit ago and I’ll give you an extensive batch of observations a bit later this afternoon. But, first, I wanted to check in on something that I know a lot of Atlanta fans are curious and concerned about.

That’s the health status of defensive tackle Peria Jerry, a first-round pick from last year, who missed most of his rookie season with a knee injury. Jerry took part in a fair amount of Tuesday’s practice and I caught up with him on the field right after he finished.

“The knee is doing real well,’’ Jerry said. “It was a long process. It’s frustrating for any player, but I’m glad to be back out there.’’

Jerry didn’t want to talk in any detail about the injury he suffered early last season. The team has said he had surgery to repair ligament damage, but Jerry did not suffer an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

“I’ll leave that up to coach (Mike Smith) to talk about the injury,’’ Jerry said.

So I went to Smith and asked for a status report on Jerry.

“Peria is not back to full participation,’’ Smith said. “He has participated in individual drills and some controlled team periods at this time. The plan at this point in time is that he’ll only practice one time a day. He will work into full participation next week. We’re hoping we get an opportunity to see him at the end of the end of the preseason.’’

Smith went on to say the Falcons are confident Jerry, as well as receiver Harry Douglas and cornerback Brian Williams, will be ready for the start of the season.

“I don’t believe there is any concern about him being ready for the regular season,’’ Smith said. “The biggest thing we want to do is be sure that we manage him. The plan has gone according to what we had laid out.’’