An Atlanta Falcons throwback helmet sits on the field before the game against the Carolina Panthers at the Georgia Dome. (Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE)
SUWANEE, Ga. (AP) - Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith held his starters out of the team's first live tackling scrimmage in hopes of avoiding injuries on Friday night.
The entire squad worked out in front of 6,000 fans at Peachtree Ridge High School, but when Smith whistled for the hitting and full-speed blocking to begin, the starters went to the sideline.
Smith gave all the players Saturday off. The Falcons will practice on Sunday before taking a two-hour bus ride on Monday to Dalton, Ga., where they will work for a couple of hours against the Tennessee Titans.
The Falcons will be without defensive tackle Vance Walker, a three-year reserve who has played 42 games since 2009. Walker has an undisclosed injury and has missed the past two days of practice.
Running back Jason Snelling is nursing a lower leg injury, but Smith gave no other details.