Falcons DE McKinley may return from injury against Lions

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Atlanta Falcons defensive end Takk McKinley may play Sunday against the Detroit Lions after missing three of the last four games with a groin injury.

The Falcons are listing McKinley as questionable after he practiced on Friday for the first time this week. McKinley played in only five snaps against Carolina on Oct. 11 in his only appearance since Week 2 against Dallas.

It has been a disappointing first half of the season for McKinley, a first-round draft pick in 2017. The Falcons did not pick up McKinley’s fifth-year option before the season. He needs to demonstrate he can return to the form he showed when he combined for 13 sacks in 2017 and 2018.

Falcons interim coach Raheem Morris said Friday the team never considered putting McKinley on injured reserve with the groin injury. “He’s gonna play, he wants to play and we’ll see how soon that can be, based on his health,” Morris said.

McKinley is Atlanta’s only player with an injury designation on Friday’s report. Wide receivers Julio Jones (hamstring) and Calvin Ridley (elbow) have full clearance after being limited in practice earlier in the week. Defensive end Dante Fowler (ankle) also was removed from the injury report.

Jones said Thursday he has fully recovered from the injury that forced him to miss two games. He said “I can be me” after he had two touchdown catches in last week’s win at Minnesota.

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