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Falcons' Williams moving ahead of schedule

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- When team doctors first diagnosed Demorrio Williams with a torn pectoral muscle in April, the Atlanta Falcons' fourth-year linebacker worried that he could miss the next five months.

Instead, Williams used an approach that was both aggressive and smart after he underwent surgery. The injury occurred in the weight room while Williams was bench-pressing, and he felt a pop.

Once he started rehabbing, Williams was shadowed by team trainers, who supervised his workouts, but their presence didn't stop him from working furiously. Now, he hopes to prove his durability as early as August tenth, when Atlanta plays its preseason opener against the New York Jets.

Williams said -- quote -- "Right now they just want me to pace myself, not really a whole lot of contact. I'm a little ahead of schedule, so right now they just want me to learn the defense and be out there and just go through the motions right now with it."

Coach Bobby Petrino has encouraged Williams to be cautious and take his comeback slowly, but he also doesn't want to hinder the former Nebraska standout's enthusiasm.

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Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) rushes during an NFL football game between the between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Peter Joneleit)

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