Falcons: Matt Ryan Returns and a Key Injury as Training Camp Week 2 Winds Down

It was an eventful day at Flowery Branch as Falcons Training Camp ticks down to the final days toward the Falcons’ first preseason game against the Miami Dolphins on August 11th.

The morning started with an unexpected appearance of former Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who brought along his two sons and joined in on the training. He only appeared briefly, but he was there long enough to get some fans and press nostalgic for the days the passer led the team from 2008 to 2021. Ryan was seen hanging out wide receiver Bijan Robinson and other new members of the team.


Head Coach Arthur Smith, who coached the soon-to-be CBS NFL commentator in his final year with the Falcons, said at a press conference that he, like Falcons owner Arthur Blank, welcomed Matty Ice to Falcons HQ and was happy to see him.

But it wasn't all fun times at Training Camp today. The team got down to business, dealing with roster moves and a key injury.

Cornerback Jeff Okudah suffered an ankle injury that led to him being carted off the field this morning. He was trying to break up a pass to wide receiver Frank Darby when he went down.Β  He was scheduled to have an MRI Friday to determine the extent of his injuries. Okudah's is the most serious the Falcons have suffered since Training Camp began.

The Falcons started the day with some roster moves, adding four new players to the roster mix. All four are from the XFL.

According to Falcons Digital Managing Editor Scott Blair, the Falcons added defensive lineman Mathew Gotel, who last played in the XFL for the San Antonio Brahmas. He also played for the University of West Florida for three seasons. Offensive lineman Michal Menet, another XFL alumnus who played with the Seattle Sea Dragons, defensive lineman Caeveon Patton, formerly of the XFL's Orlando Guardians who was drafted out of Texas State to play for the Indianapolis Colts, and Eastern Michigan'sΒ  Mathew Sexton, from the XFL's Vegas Vipers.

The signing of the Gotel, Menet, Patton, and Sexton addresses the injury-dictated departures of tight end Felepe Franks, defensive lineman Ikenna Enechukwu, and receiver Chris Blair, who were all waived or injured Thursday. Offensive lineman Ethan Greenidge was placed on a season-ending injured reserve.

In another Falcons update, the team agreed to donate AJC Sports Journalist D. Orlando Ledbetter's $500 "fine" to the National Center of Civil and Human Rights.

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