The battle to return punts for the Atlanta Falcons in 2012 may already be over, as Mike Smith announced that WR Harry Douglas will not be returning punts in the pre-season when talking to the media on Tuesday.
Third-year CB Dominique Franks, who brought one back for a 45-yard TD against the Baltimore Ravens in the Falcons first pre-season game, appears to have the edge:
"I don't know that he's close to having it done," Smith said of Franks. "He did a nice job in Week 1. ... Dom has done some things in past preseason games and in a regular-season game when the score was out of hand. He doesn't have it sewn up but he sure has a leg up right now in terms of what he did in Week 1."
As a rookie in 2008, Douglas had averaged 11.9 yards a return while taking one to the house. However, his role in the offense has expanded since, leaving an opportunity for Franks to take the job.
Franks had some experience at the position as a collegiate player in Oklahoma, but he fumbled on the only punt return he's done at the NFL level.