Atlanta Falcons inside linebacker Akeem Dent participated in non-contact drills during Saturday's practice for the first time since sustaining a concussion in the preseason opener against Baltimore, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter. Dent did not play in the Falcons' second preseason game against Cincinnati on Thursday night.
Dent, a second-year player from the University of Georgia, could be thrust into a starting role at middle linebacker this season thanks to Lofa Tatupu's injury and subsequent release and the departure of Curtis Lofton this offseason.
Dent told reporters that he stayed around the Falcons' facility during his recovery and attended defensive meetings and film sessions. Once Dent is finished with the NFL's protocol for returning from a concussion, he will be clear to return to full contact in practice.
Dent said he has no recollection of the hit that led to his concussion, according to Ledbetter.