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Dwight Freeney unlikely to play in Falcons' first preseason game

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn said newly signed veteran pass-rusher Dwight Freeney, as of right now, is unlikely to play in Thursday's preseason opener against the Washington Redskins while still getting acclimated to the defense.

Freeney, who signed a one-year deal ($1 million base with incentives), went through his first practice Sunday and showed signs of his old self. He used a speed burst to get to quarterback Matt Ryan during 11-on-11 drills and sent offensive tackle Laurence Gibson to the ground with his signature spin move.

``It was nice seeing him come off the edge,'' Quinn said of Freeney. ``We had him at his normal spot there at right end. He's really got a real serious approach in terms of up the field, when to come under. And that timing is critical. I know that's where he's putting in the work right now, but it was great to have him and also Lance Moore) out on the field today.''

Quinn stopped short of ruling out Freeney and the veteran receiver Moore for Thursday night. Freeney joined the team last Thursday, while Moore arrived Friday and also practiced Sunday.

``I haven't decided yet,'' Quinn said. ``I like to see where they're at in conditioning, first. It would be unlikely. But if they're moving along and progressing fast enough ... I probably want to go two days of camp and then make the evaluation. It would be unlikely now, unless it's, `Well, they're really further along than I thought.' ''

Freeney recapped his first practice with the Falcons.

``It was funny, no matter how much training you do, it's nothing like going out here and competing,'' the 36-year-old Freeney said. ``The adrenaline starts going. You get those bag drills, the body starts turning ways it ain't supposed to turn. And then all of sudden, you start getting tired a little bit faster. But that's definitely what training camp is about; kind of get that rust off.''

The status of Pro Bowl cornerback Desmond Trufant coming off a hip injury also will be worth monitoring leading into Thursday's game. Trufant missed Friday's practice but was back on a limited basis Sunday. C.J. Goodwin lined up at left cornerback during 11-on-11 drills with Trufant watching from the side.

Also, third-string running back Terron Ward left the field Sunday with what appeared to be a leg injury. Ward's status remains unknown for Thursday.