Atlanta Falcons rookie Robert Alford might return kicks

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Atlanta Falcons special-teams coach Keith Armstrong said there’s “a pretty good chance” that rookie cornerback Robert Alford will get a chance to return punts and kicks.

The other candidates are Jacquizz Rodgers for kick returns and James Rodgers and Dominique Franks to return both punts and kicks.

Wide receiver Harry Douglas was an effective punt returner as a rookie in 2008 and handled the duties at times last season when the Falcons needed a sure-handed returner.

But Armstrong said the injury risk for Douglas, the No. 3 receiver, means it’s unlikely Douglas would return punts regularly.

Jacquizz Rodgers was the primary kickoff returner last season. Franks was the primary punt returner last year

BILLS: Quarterback Kevin Kolb’s chances of earning the starting job were nearly upended by a wet and slippery rubber mat.

Kolb, who is locked in a competition with rookie first-round pick EJ Manuel, avoided serious injury to his left knee when he slipped and stumbled awkwardly while switching fields between practice drills Saturday.

Coach Doug Marrone said the injury does not appear to be serious. He called it “a bump,” and listed Kolb “day by day.”

CARDINALS: Patrick Peterson is catching passes, throwing some and running with the ball during training camp.

No doubt about it, new coach Bruce Arians has plans for the dynamic player on offense.

In his first two NFL seasons, Peterson made the Pro Bowl as a punt returner, then as a cornerback. He remains a shutdown cornerback, first and foremost. And he still plans to return punts.

But Arians says Peterson is too talented to be standing on the sideline all the time when the Cardinals have the ball.

Peterson had a few snaps last season in the wildcat formation under then-coach Ken Whisenhunt.

When Whisenhunt was fired and Arians came in, the new coach had an idea that he’d like some kind of package with Peterson on offense.

That idea has only grown as Arians watched Peterson up close.


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