Falcons to hold out Ward, Ishmael against Dolphins

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) Running back Terron Ward and safety Kemal Ishmael will miss their second straight preseason game when the Atlanta Falcons play the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night.

Ward's injury has changed the competition for a backup spot at running back.

Ward (ankle) and Ishmael (shoulder) ran on the side in Tuesday's practice. Coach Dan Quinn said each could return for next week's final preseason game against Jacksonville.

''They're getting closer,'' Quinn said. ''I would say they both have a good shot for next week.''

Ward played in 13 games in 2015. His injury has given Brandon Wilds, Gus Johnson and Cyrus Gray more opportunities in the competition for a roster spot behind starter Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.

Gray had 18 carries for 76 yards in last week's win at Cleveland. Wilds led Atlanta with 26 yards rushing, including a touchdown run, in the opening preseason win over Washington.

Overall, Atlanta's injury news has been good. Linebacker Vic Beasley (shoulder) is returning this week after missing one game.

''We anticipate full participation for him in the game,'' said Quinn of Beasley. ''He had a good comeback from his setback last week. We're excited to see him, especially in nickel. We anticipate a good bit of throwing in this game.''

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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