This week's opponent

Flowery Branch, Ga. - The Atlanta Falcons began preparations for the season-opener against the Green Bay Packers with a one-hour practice session at team headquarters in Flowery Branch. Kickoff for Sunday's contest at Lambeau Field against the Packers is scheduled for 1 p.m. eastern time. The Falcons players will have the day off tomorrow and then return to work on Wednesday.<p>

The Falcons travel to Green Bay to face the Packers for the second consecutive season. Last year the Falcons forced four turnovers in a 23-20 victory on November 18.

The Falcons can begin forming a five-man practice squad this evening. The Falcons will announce their practice squad Tuesday.

Newly acquired NT Ellis Johnson and WR Trevor Gaylor worked in their first practice after joining the Falcons yesterday.

The Falcons suffered several injuries in the preseason-finale at Cincinnati, with the most serious to LB Will Overstreet, who aggravated a shoulder injury that held him out of the first two preseason contests. Overstreet suffered a slightly torn labrum and ligament during practice on August 6. He returned to practice the next day with a harness on his shoulder, but was held out of contact. After consulting with a doctor in Birmingham, it was believed at the time that the shoulder injury was manageable without surgery.

The other Falcons that were injured against the Bengals were: LB Chris Draft (hamstring) and WR Shawn Jefferson (ankle). Draft did not practice today, while Jefferson was able to work with no signs of any problems from his ankle injury.

Six players missed the Cincinnati game due to injury. DE Travis Hall (groin and abdominal strain), RB Travis Jervey (shoulder), LB Sam Rogers (groin), LB Mark Simoneau (abdominal), LB Artie Ulmer (knee) and T Todd Weiner(shoulder).

Jervey and Rogers were hurt in the Dallas preseason game but were able to practice today and should be ready for the opener at Green Bay. Ulmer and Weiner were injured in the Giants preseason game. Simoneau suffered an abdominal strain during pregame warm-ups prior to the Giants game and did not play in the game.

Hall was injured in training camp and has not seen any preseason action.

Head coach Dan Reeves said today after practice that the team will know more about its injury situation on Wednesday when it goes through a full practice. Reeves indicated that Weiner should be ready, and that he was encouraged with the progress of Hall, Simoneau and Ulmer.


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