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Drake London's Knee Injury Not Long-Term Concern for Falcons, Arthur Smith Says

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 14, 2022

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Atlanta Falcons first-round wideout Drake London left Friday's preseason matchup with the Detroit Lions after suffering a knee injury and didn't practice Sunday, though the team doesn't appear to be overly worried about the situation.

"It's nothing that we're really concerned about long term," head coach Arthur Smith told reporters. "We'll be smart. He's had a really good training camp. We hope to get everyone back by the time the regular season rolls around."

Whether London will miss the remainder of the preseason remains to be seen.

"We'll see and we'll assess it week to week,” Smith told reporters. "He's had a really good camp. He's got his feet wet, and I'm pleased with him."

After years of top wideout play, namely from stars like Roddy White and Julio Jones, the Falcons found themselves at something of a crossroads this offseason with Calvin Ridley suspended for the year.

Enter London, whom the team selected with the No. 8 overall pick.

The 21-year-old had a fantastic junior season for USC in 2021, catching 88 passes for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns, and the Falcons made him the first wideout off the board in April's draft, ahead of players like Garrett Wilson (New York Jets, No. 10 overall), Chris Olave (New Orleans Saints, No. 11), Jameson Williams (Detroit Lions, No. 12), Jahan Dotson (Washington Commanders, No. 16) and Treylon Burks (Tennessee Titans, No. 18), among others.

Injuries have been a factor in London's football career, however, as a broken right ankle cut his junior season short.

The Falcons aren't particularly deep at wideout, with players like Bryan Edwards, Olamide Zaccheaus and Auden Tate likely to feature at the position if London misses time. Promising young tight end Kyle Pitts will remain Marcus Mariota's top option in the passing game.

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