Falcons expect CB Jeff Okudah to return early this season after scary ankle injury

The Falcons traded for Jeff Okudah this offseason. (AP Photo/Alex Slitz)
The Falcons traded for Jeff Okudah this offseason. (AP Photo/Alex Slitz)

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The Atlanta Falcons received positive news Saturday regarding cornerback Jeff Okudah’s ankle.

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Head coach Arthur Smith said he expects Okudah to return to the team early this season after MRI results revealed his ankle injury wasn’t as bad as originally thought. Smith refused to go further detail about the injury.

Okudah, 24, was carted off the practice field Friday after he sustained the injury during one-on-one drills. Falcons teammates gathered in prayer after Okudah was taken away. Atlanta traded a fifth-round pick to the Detroit Lions for Okudah in April, who was the No. 3 overall pick in 2020 out of Ohio State.

Okudah didn’t have a good career before 2022. He suffered two injuries in 2020 that limited him to nine games, then he ruptured his Achilles in Week 1 of the 2021 season. This past season went well for Okudah, though. He played in 15 games and tallied one interception, seven pass breakups and 73 combined tackles. Okudah’s post-trade tweet indicated his excitement for a fresh start, but now that will have to wait while he recovers from this ankle injury.

Yahoo Sports’ team of reporters, Charles Robinson, Jori Epstein and Charles McDonald will be spread across the country in the coming weeks to cover it all. Follow Yahoo Sports on social, join or create a Yahoo Fantasy Football League, and gear up for kickoff to the 2023 season Sept. 7 in Kansas City.

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