If you follow the Falcons at all you know that former Dawg Akeem Dent is the prospective starting middle linebacker for Atlanta. He was injured in the first preseason game and has been progressing through the NFL's concussion protocol. Yesterday he returned to the non-contact portion of practice.
It’s still in precautionary stages, but Akeem Dent took a big step toward returning to the lineup at middle linebacker for the Falcons on Saturday.
Head coach Mike Smith said Dent took part in the non-contact aspects of Saturday’s practice and he would get tested before practice begins Sunday to determine his status. Dent was injured in the first preseason game while covering a punt. He spent the last week going through the NFL’s concussion protocol.
“We have to get him cleared finally tonight, so he will be cleared tonight and be back to full participation tomorrow in practice,” Smith said.
Dent spent the week recovering from his concussion symptoms, but was on the field watching practice every day. He also was in meetings as the defense continues to learn the ins and outs of coordinator Mike Nolan’s scheme. The second-year linebacker didn’t feel like he missed much other than Thursday’s game action because so much of the defense was installed during OTAs and minicamp.