FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- A daily review of the hot topics from Atlanta Falcons training camp:
Rookie running back Devonta Freeman was on the field for the start of practice but exited early and didn't return. The initial word was the heat got to Freeman, although coach Mike Smith declined to go in detail about Freeman's status. After practice as Smith met the media, Freeman walked around and greeted a few people and didn't have any protective gear on any part of his body. "I don't think it's anything serious," Smith said. If the heat indeed got to Freeman, it might be worth monitoring because the Falcons are set to have joint practices against the Texans in scorching Houston starting Wednesday morning.
Speaking of running backs, starter Steven Jackson performed some agility drills on a side field for the first time since suffering a left hamstring injury on July 28. Jackson did not perform any sprinting exercises. Smith said all along he expects Jackson to be fully healthy for the Sept. 7 season opener against the New Orleans Saints. With Jackson still sidelined and Freeman exiting early Monday, Jacquizz Rodgers remained as the primary running back with Antone Smith also getting a few first-team reps.
Julio Jones participated in his second consecutive practice and caught a few balls. The Falcons had Sunday off, so he technically had a day of rest in between practices. It's the same schedule he's been on throughout camp and it won't change just yet. "I know we're going to go every other day," Smith said of Jones' status, "but the workload is going to be different then it was in the first two weeks."
Extra points: Outside linebacker Stansly Maponga got into it with Lamar Holmes during pass-rush drills and drew anger from both defensive line coach Bryan Cox and offensive line coach Mike Tice. In fact, Tice taunted Maponga by saying he could show better pass-rush moves than Maponga could, while Cox challenged Maponga to play better on game day rather than thumping his chest in practice. ... Tight end Mickey Shuler got a few reps with the first-team offense coming off a strong performance in the first exhibition. ... Safety Dwight Lowery had full participation coming off a concussion although he didn't take a hit through the course of the day as the Falcons practiced in pads and shorts. ... Pat Angerer also seemed to have full participation while tackle Terren Jones was limited as both continued to go through the concussion protocol. ... Linebacker Tim Dobbins was on the field observing, following an ankle injury. Offensive lineman Gabe Carimi (ankle) was nowhere to be seen.
The Falcons practice Tuesday at 9 a.m. ET before leaving for Houston for joint practices with the Texans starting Wednesday.