Falcons expect CB Jeff Okudah (ankle) back early in season

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons coach Arthur Smith said his team received "very positive news" after an MRI of cornerback Jeff Okudah's right ankle. Smith expects Okudah back at some point early in the regular season.

Okudah injured his right ankle during a 1-on-1 drill against receiver Frank Darby during Friday's practice and was carted back to the locker room.

"You just never know," Smith said. "Positive news all things considered. We expect he's got a great chance to be back in the really early part of the season. I just can't give you whether that's Week 1, 2, 3 but we feel really good for Jeff. All things considered."

On Saturday, Atlanta used a combination of Tre Flowers and Mike Hughes at the first-team corner spot opposite AJ Terrell. Smith said some of that was mixing and matching to get guys ready for competition and "building depth." Flowers had taken the first-team reps Friday after Okudah's injury.

Atlanta traded a fifth-round pick to Detroit in April for Okudah, the No. 3 pick in the 2020 draft. Okudah, who dealt with injuries in 2020 and 2021, started 15 games last season for the Lions and had 73 tackles and an interception.

Smith also said defensive lineman Calais Campbell, who has been on the non-football injury list, could get worked back in next week to get him closer to returning.

"We have plans for everybody," Smith said. "Good chance next week we can ramp up a little more. What that looks like, I'll know more Monday. But trending in the right direction."