FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons safety William Moore has been cleared to practice and will participate fully in the team’s mini-camp that opens on Friday and runs through Sunday.
“He’s ready to go,” Falcons coach Mike Smith told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Moore’s first season was marred by hamstring and knee injuries. He was a second round draft pick in 2009 and played in just two games before being placed on injured reserve.
In August, he had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. He returned to practice on August 25.
He was inactive for the first three games and played on special teams against San Francisco and Chicago before being placed on injured reserve on Oct. 27 with a season-ending hamstring injury.
Defensive tackle Peria Jerry (knee), cornerback Brian Williams (knee) and wide receiver Harry Douglas (knee) will not participate in the mini-camp or offseason organized team activities, which start on May 25.
“They definitely won’t participate,” Smith said.
They are making progress and should be ready at varying points during training camp.
“Those three guys are doing well in their rehabilitation with our training staff,” Smith said.
“They are rehabbing and working out with the training staff.”
Some veteran players, who’ve had undisclosed offseason “procedures” will be limited to one practice a day.
“It’s very similar to what we do in training camp,” Smith said. “There are certain guys that are going to be on a one-practice-a–day-routine. We will go ahead and start that off in the mini-camp as well.”
Before suffering his injuries, Moore was expected to compete for the starting strong safety position.
But when he suffered his first injury, Erik Coleman was moved over to strong safety and Thomas DeCoud was inserted at the free safety.
Coleman, the teams’ third leading tackler (139 tackles) last season, is going to be tough to unseat and DeCoud, blossomed as a first-year starter last season.
Moore has been putting in major hours in the film room to get ready to mount a challenge.
He expressed to Falcons first round pick Sean Weatherspoon that he wasn’t happy with how his rookie season went and is seeking some atonement in year two.
At safety, the Falcons also signed Matt Giordano, drafted Shann Schillinger and signed Rafael Bush to a free agent contract. Bush, went to S.C. State, which produced one of the greatest undrafted free agent safeties of all time in Donnie Shell.
Shell was signed by the Steelers and went on to play strong safety for 11 seasons on the “Steel Curtain” defense. Shell won four Super Bowls and made five Pro Bowl trips.