Falcons Struggling to Endure Preseason Heat

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) _ After fainting on the field during
the Atlanta Falcons' morning practice Monday, running backs coach
Ollie Wilson returned for the evening session and said he felt
fine.
The temperature was 95 degrees with thick humidity when Wilson
fell during an 11-on-11 drill. With the aid of running back Warrick
Dunn and trainer Rod Medlin, the 56-year-old Wilson rose to his
feet before onsite paramedics could attend to him.
Wilson, who was diagnosed as suffering from dehydration, is
entering the sixth year of his second stint with the Falcons. He
previously coached Jamal Anderson, Craig Heyward and Erric Pegram
under Jerry Glanville and June Jones before Dan Reeves hired him in
2002.

BILLY CUNDIFF'S JOB, FOR NOW:
Billy Cundiff could have more competition before the Atlanta Falcons end training camp, but he was the only placekicker on the team's roster as of Monday night.
The Falcons waived Aaron Elling, Cundiff's lone competition for
the job, so they could sign running back Arlen Harris.
Cundiff, who served as a kickoff specialist for New Orleans from
November through the NFC title game last season, spent parts of
four years with Dallas, converting 60 of 82 field-goal attempts,
before a quadriceps injury caused the Cowboys to release him in
2005. They re-signed him in November that year.
Atlanta needs Harris with Warrick Dunn out this week following
lower back surgery last month. Dunn, who has yet to practice since
training camp began July 26, is likely to miss most of August, so
Harris will probably fill a spot behind Jerious Norwood and rookie
Jason Snelling.
Harris, who averaged 3.2 yards per carry in 49 attempts for
Detroit last year, appeared in 46 games for St. Louis from
2003-05.
DEMORRIO WILLIAMS NEEDS MORE TIME:
Coach Bobby Petrino reiterated comments from earlier in camp that starting weakside linebacker Demorrio Williams still must take his rehab slowly from a torn pectoral muscle that required surgery in April.
Petrino said the team is probably going to give it another week
and then start to build him into contact. For right now, he is
doing everything besides contact.
The Falcons are likely to start rookie Stephen Nicholas, a
fourth-round draft pick from South Florida in Williams' place,
though former Auburn standout Travis Williams, who re-signed as a
"street'' free agent in January, has impressed the coaching staff
enough to earn snaps.

INJURY UPDATE:
Petrino believes that middle linebacker Keith Brooking (knee) and right guard Kynan Forney (back), each of whom missed some practice time last week, will start when the Falcons visit the New York Jets in the preseason opener on Friday night.
Rookie receiver Laurent Robinson, however, worked with trainers
Monday after tweaking a hamstring in the morning session on
Saturday.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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