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Falcons cornerback Williams close to returning
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FLOWERY BRANCH — Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith hopes cornerback Brian Williams will be healthy enough to play this week at Miami.

The 31-year-old Williams has missed the first two preseason games and a team scrimmage because of a tender right knee that underwent reconstructive surgery last year. The ninth-year veteran started the first five games of 2009 in his first season with the Falcons.

Atlanta (1-1) visits the Dolphins (2-0) on Friday.

"Brian has been practicing full-go only once a day over probably the last seven or eight practices," Smith said Tuesday. "We're hoping nothing flares up, and he'll be able to participate in the game."

Defensive end Jamaal Anderson, who starts on the left side and plays tackle, missed last week's loss to New England with a strained quadriceps, but is close to returning.

Rookie defensive tackle Corey Peters, a third-round pick, likely will not play. Peters said he "heard something pop" in his knee before leaving the Patriots game.

Another third-round pick, guard Mike Robinson, also has a knee injury and is not expected to play against Miami.

Cornerback Dunta Robinson, who starts on the left side, indicated this week that he's close to making his preseason debut after sustaining a torn hamstring. Safety William Moore (groin) could play.

The Falcons will not sign a receiver to replace injured rookie Kerry Meier (knee) for a couple of weeks. According to the NFL collective bargaining agreement, rookies can't be placed on injured reserve until 53-man rosters are set Sept. 4.
Meier tore his anterior cruciate ligament against New England.

Before last year's regular-season opener, Atlanta signed longtime veteran wideout Marty Booker to replace injured slot receiver Harry Douglas.

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