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Falcons vs. Lions: Who will see playing time in Week 1 preseason game?

The Falcons and Lions will face off in Week 1 of NFL preseason on Friday. We take a look at who’s likely to see playing time.

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

After months of waiting, football is finally back (sorta) as Week 1 of the preseason kicks off this week. The Atlanta Falcons will take a trip north to face off against the Detroit Lions. With training camp still fresh, don’t expect many starters to play an extended period or much at all.

Here’s what we know so far about who will and will not play.

Update — Here’s a look at the Falcons starting offense vs. the Lions.


Lions head coach Dan Campbell told reporters that he talked with Falcons coach Arthur Smith and they both plan on playing their starters in Week 1. That means we will see Jared Goff and Marcus Mariota for about a quarter of action. Campbell did the same thing last year with his starters. Smith didn’t play his starters at all last year in preseason.

Running Backs

Cordarrelle Patterson is the top running back on the Falcons depth chart, but after him there is a question mark. Damien Williams, Tyler Allgeier and Qadree Ollison all follow, so expect them to get extended run to see who gets the backup spots.

D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams should get good reps to start as they are the one-two combo. Beyond that, the Lions have some options in Craig “Netflix” Reynolds, Jermae Jefferson, Justin Jackson, and Godwin Igwebuike. Expect those four to get some time to sort out the third running back spot.

Wide Receivers

Drake London was listed as the fifth receiver on the Falcons depth chart but has run with the first team offense during camp, so expect him to get some run with that group during the preseason. If the starters see some time, expect London to be in the mix.

D.J Chark is new to the Lions this season, so expect him to play with Goff to develop a connection. First-round pick Jameson Williams is on the pup list, so Quintez Cephus will get an extended look to try and make the roster.

Tight Ends

Kyle Pitts is the Falcons’ No. 1 tight end and receiving option. He will get some action with Mariota. Felipe Franks was getting reps at tight end and quarterback and could be in for a bigger role, as the team will need to keep their top receiving option in Pitts healthy.

T.J Hockenson is the No. 1 tight end, with Brock Wright listed as No. 2. They also signed converted TE Devin Funchess in the offseason, but he’s currently listed down the depth chart and could be fighting for a roster spot.