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Falcons vs. Redskins: Chris Owens, Robert McClain to split time at nickel corner

The Atlanta Falcons have a competition developing at nickel corner. Chris Owens was the starter, but Robert McClain has impressed in Owens' concussion-induced absence.

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The Atlanta Falcons will split time at cornerback between Christopher Owens and Robert McClain, according to a Tweet from the team. Both men have made strong contributions to the secondary, leading head coach Mike Smith to admit there was a competition for the position.

McClain is a seventh-round pick from the 2010 NFL Draft. Originally drafted by the Carolina Panthers, he spent the 2011 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars before signing with the Falcons for 2012. He has three tackles and one interception through the first four games. His play has been strong enough that Owens, returning from a head injury suffered Sept. 17 in Atlanta's game vs. Denver, will have to compete for his spot.

Owens was drafted by Atlanta in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft and has started progressively fewer games for the team. He started six in his rookie year, followed by three in 2010, two in 2011 and one of the first two in 2012.

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Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.