- Vaughn McClure, ESPN Staff Writer
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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- A daily review of the hot topics from Atlanta Falcons training camp:
Wide receiver Julio Jones, who practiced sparingly Wednesday, said he doesn't know if he'll play in Friday night's exhibition against the Miami Dolphins. Coach Mike Smith said the team was going to make the decision Tuesday but a final determination has yet to be made. Based on Smith's history, the starters typically play just the first series in the initial preseason game. So it seems unlikely for Jones to suit up. Of course, the Falcons want him to get some live action before the regular season coming off foot surgery. Maybe he'll only play in the third exhibition against the Tennessee Titans (Aug. 23), which has the most meaning for the starters.
Rookie safety Dez Southward, who injured his left knee earlier in camp, was back at practice Wednesday. He started the day simply watching individual drills while holding his helmet, but Southward was gradually worked back into action. Midway through practice, he did some sprinting on a side field under the watchful eye of the team's medical staff. Smith was asked about Southward playing Friday. "We haven't determined that, whether he's going to be ready to play or not," Smith said. "It's good to see him back out here doing some play on the field. ... We'll let 24 hours pass and see where he is in terms of if there's any residual effects. But he did do a lot of work today."
Smith gave his review of the first episode of HBO's "Hard Knocks" on Tuesday night. "I had an opportunity to review it at 6 o'clock yesterday morning," Smith said. "My focus was about the competitive advantage given our opponents, potential competitive advantage. I thought that NFL [Films] and their producers and the producers at HBO did a wonderful job because there wasn't anything there that I was concerned about. That was my focus and will be my focus throughout the whole, entire show."
Falcons fan Dylan Hoyt, who won season tickets following that well-publicized bet with Roddy White over the Duke-Mercer NCAA March Madness basketball game, attended Wednesday's practice and met White. "He said what's up, asked how I was doing, and we joked around," Hoyt said. "We kind of joked about him and William Moore messing with each other. And the bet." Hoyt said got his tickets in the mail last week. He hasn't decided which game he plans to take advantage of the sideline pass he also won in the bet.
Rookie Marquis Spruill was helped off the field late in practice with an undisclosed injury. The medical staff was attending to his lower leg. ... Offensive lineman Gabe Carimi was not on the practice field after spraining his ankle in Monday's practice against the Titans. ... Both safety Dwight Lowery and Pat Angerer, each going through the concussion protocol, were on the field watching in their jerseys and short. ... A brief fight broke out between offensive lineman Mike Johnson and cornerback Javier Arenas after Arenas gave rookie running back Devonta Freeman a late shove.
The Falcons have a closed walk-through on Thursday.
5hEric D. Williams