Good news for Falcons: Backup RB Norwood returns to practice

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Running back Jerious Norwood practiced for the first time in nearly five weeks Thursday, giving the Atlanta Falcons hope that he could play against the New York Giants this weekend if they are without injured starter Michael Turner.

Norwood was limited on the field, but Falcons coach Mike Smith hopes that the running back can play Sunday at the Meadowlands. Norwood has been sidelined with a hip flexor injury.

"He was able to participate in practice today, so that was a positive," Smith said of Norwood. "Now we have to wait and see how he responds to the work that he did today."

The Falcons could be without Turner, a Pro Bowl running back who is averaging 5 yards per carry and has scored 10 touchdowns this season. He left last weekend's loss at Carolina with a high ankle sprain.

Turner has missed the last two days of workouts, but he wasn't wearing a walking boot in the locker room following practice Thursday.

"It feels OK, but right now it's too early to tell," Turner said.

Norwood also missed a Week 3 loss at New England with a concussion.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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