Veteran PK Graham returns to Falcons as more than 'camp leg'
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) After kicking for 10 teams in the past 15 seasons - and a few more teams in preseason camps - Shayne Graham knew to be prepared for another call.
This time, it was a rarity - a call back from the Atlanta team he kicked for last season.
Graham joined the Falcons on Saturday and will kick for the team in Thursday night's preseason game against Miami in Orlando.
Graham joined the Falcons late last season to replace Matt Bryant, who had a right quadriceps injury. Bryant, 41, is battling more muscle tightness in his leg, so Graham again was summoned.
Graham, 38, is preparing to be ready for however long he is needed.
''There are not a lot of situations I haven't seen,'' Graham said Monday. ''When you fill in for a guy for a week or two weeks, just because they let you go, it doesn't mean you weren't good enough. It just means it was time for that guy to come back. It's part of the deal.
''Whatever my opportunity is here, I just want to make the best of it and we'll see where it goes.''
Graham replaced rookie kicker Nick Rose on the roster. Rose was in camp to audition for a possible future job and to take some of the pressure off Bryant in practice.
Graham knows his role is different.
''I knew going on 39 years old I'm not a guy that's going to be brought in as a camp leg,'' he said.
Graham made 11 of 13 field goals for Atlanta in the final five games of the 2015 season, including a 54-yarder that was the longest of his career.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn said he expects Bryant to be back next week, creating a possible competition with Graham for the job right before the opening game against Tampa Bay.
''We've got a lot of faith in Shayne, so with Matt not being back all the way healthy it's the right decision at this time to bring in somebody we know and trust,'' Quinn said Monday. ''That's who Shayne is. ... Shayne will kick in the ballgame and then as we get into next week we anticipate having both guys available.''
Graham kicked for Cincinnati from 2003-09, a seven-year run that was by far his longest with any team.
Asked if he kept a count on all his other NFL stops, Graham said ''How long do you have? I can spit them out.''
He also has kicked for Buffalo, Carolina, the New York Giants, New England, Miami, Baltimore, Houston and New Orleans. He also was on Pittsburgh's roster in 2013.
Last year he was pressed immediately into action after signing with Atlanta late in the season. Does joining Atlanta midway through the preseason schedule feel more normal?
''Really just being on the field is normal,'' he said. ''It's kind of where the comfort zone is.''
NOTES: P Matt Bosher, who left Thursday night's game at Cleveland with a chest injury, was back for practices on Sunday and Monday. RB Terron Ward (ankle) and S Kemal Ishmael (shoulder) worked with trainers on the side. ... Quinn said DE/LB Vic Beasley (shoulder) is expected to play this week after missing last week's game.
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