FLOWERY BRANCH — In their last padded practice of the exhibition season, the Falcons’ energy spilled over into some major hits and two fights on Monday.
On the first play, linebacker Mike Peterson set the tone with a hard hit that dropped running back Michael Turner.
A few plays later, right guard Garrett Reynolds had his helmet ripped off when he was in the middle of fight.
The final straw came when safety William Moore made a big hit on running back Antone Smith and a wild melee erupted, forcing head coach Mike Smith to call the team into a big circle.
“I just needed to politely remind them of the number one goal of our training camp is to make sure that we get everybody to the first game healthy,” Smith said. “I love their enthusiasm. I love their energy. I love their passion. But it was just something that I needed to remind them about.”
There were no apparent injures from all of the extra pushing and shoving. After 45 minutes, they took off the pads and finished the practice.
The Falcons close out the exhibition season at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Jacksonville. They open the regular season at Kansas City on Sept. 9.
Smith wasn’t overly concerned about the fights.
“I think we are ready to play,” Smith said. That’s what I think.”
The Falcons will not reveal the specific injury to defensive tackle Corey Peters, who was placed on the non-football injury list with a foot injury.
When asked if Peters was injured in a fall at his house over the offseason, Smith didn’t confirm or deny that story.
“He’s on non-football injury,” Smith said. “That’s the designation.”
He will be out for six weeks and then the Falcons will have an evaluation period before they can put him on the roster.
Rookie left tackle Lamar Holmes played well in his first NFL action against Miami.
“I thought Lamar, for his first time out there, did a nice job,” Smith said. “He’s going to get extended playing time this week.”
Rookie fullback Bradie Ewing, who’s out the season with a knee injury, is adjusting to being away from the team.
“Bradie is doing good,” said rookie right guard Peter Konz, who’s lives in the same apartment complex with Ewing. “I’ve been able to see him. When for most of your life you’ve been battling with the guys or you’re training with guys, it’s hard. So when he’s not here, he’s kind of isolated. He wants to be back here with his brothers and with the team. That’s a little bit of hardship, but he’s doing good.”
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