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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons’ most glaring unanswered questions are on offense as they began a short practice week before their final preseason game against Baltimore on Thursday night.

Starters must be found at running back, tight end, backup quarterback and on the three interior offensive line spots.

The offense struggled in Saturday night’s 13-9 loss at Miami. For the first time this preseason the starters, including quarterback Matt Ryan, were ineffective. Ryan was sacked three times, as was backup T.J. Yates.

The problems began on the line, where coach Dan Quinn and his staff continued to look at different combinations at center and the two guard spots. Joe Hawley, who started at center in the first two preseason games, watched as the interior starters were center Mike Person, left guard James Stone and right guard Chris Chester. Stone has more experience at center.

Hawley is still regaining confidence in his surgically repaired right knee. “Hopefully it gets better as the year goes on,” Hawley said Monday.

Hawley said Miami’s strong defensive front “gives us an idea of where we’re at getting ready for the start of the season.”

Quinn said Monday the shuffling on the line will continue this week.

Left tackle Jake Matthews missed the practice with a back strain. His status for Thursday night is uncertain. Quinn said he continues to have interest in free-agent tackle Jake Long, who had a workout for the team during training camp.

Running back has been a question through the preseason as Devonta Freeman and rookie Tevin Coleman have missed time with hamstring injuries. Coleman made his debut with four carries for only two yards against the Dolphins.

Quinn said Freeman, the favorite to start if healthy, was impressive in limited snaps on Monday.

“That was encouraging for us, to see him go and move,” Quinn said. “We’ll take it the next step in the process tomorrow. He caught it well out of the backfield and ran it well today.”

The Falcons signed veteran Rex Grossman last week to compete with Yates and Sean Renfree to be the backup quarterback.

Quinn said he is “anticipating” Grossman will play against the Ravens but won’t decide until after Wednesday’s practice.

The Falcons’ highlights against Miami were on defense. Adrian Clayborn recorded his second sack and a fumble recovery. Outside linebacker O’Brien Schofield had a sack and a forced fumble, and linebacker Joplo Bartu had an interception.

NOTES: Among others who missed practice or were limited: LB Brooks Reed (groin strain); LB Justin Durant (foot); WR Devin Hester (toe); RB Antone Smith (hamstring); Bartu (quad strain); TE Tony Moeaki (ankle) and S Robenson Therezie (quad strain). WR Roddy White, who continues to recover from minor elbow surgery and is expected to be ready for the regular season. … The team waived defensive back Jonathon Mincy, who signed as an undrafted free agent. LB Terrell Manning remains on the active roster. The Falcons announced on Sunday Manning would be waived but did not send the transaction to the NFL office.

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IRVING, Texas (AP) — Running back Joseph Randle was suspended four games by the NFL under the league’s personal conduct policy Tuesday, one week after he was released by the Dallas Cowboys.

The suspension begins immediately even though Randle is not on an active roster.

Randle was already away from the team to deal with unspecified personal issues when he was released by the Cowboys last Tuesday. As a third-year player in Dallas, Randle started the first six games this season.

The NFL had investigated Randle’s arrest in February in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas, though police declined to pursue charges against the running back after a domestic disturbance complaint.

It was the second arrest in four months for Randle, who was detained on a shoplifting charge at a Dallas-area mall when police said he tried to take a bottle of cologne and a pack of underwear from a department store.

He got deferred adjudication in the case from October 2014, and the misdemeanor could be dismissed if he stays out of trouble for the next two months.

Randle, who cleared waivers and can sign with any team, backed up DeMarco Murray for two years and was the Cowboys’ first choice to replace the 2014 NFL rushing champion when Murray left for NFC East rival Philadelphia in free agency.

After averaging 6.7 yards per carry in limited duty behind Murray last season, Randle rushed for 315 yards with a much-lower 4.1 average as the lead running back this year.

Randle left the team’s facility Oct. 28 after coach Jason Garrett announced Darren McFadden as the starter following the team’s first 100-yard game of the season against the New York Giants. Garrett said Randle’s absence was excused, and Randle didn’t return to the team before he was released almost a week later.

A fifth-round pick out of Oklahoma State in 2013, Randle ran afoul of the coaches in the offseason when he said “there was a lot of meat on the bone,” a suggestion that Murray could have done more despite breaking Emmitt Smith’s franchise record with 1,845 yards rushing last season.

Randle has 822 career yards with nine touchdowns in 35 games, including eight starts.

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Given his long history of shoulder problems, nobody could fault Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith for a few moments of concern at halftime of last Sunday’s game against St. Louis.

Smith had absorbed a sack just before halftime, landing hard on his throwing shoulder. But after he received some treatment in the locker room, Smith returned to the field and played the entire second half without missing a beat in a 34-7 blowout victory.

“I didn’t want to make a big deal of it. Felt like it was something I could handle,” said Smith, who didn’t even have ice on his shoulder during his post-game news conference. “The last two days have been great. I feel like I’ve got great work in. I expect to do the same today.”

In other words, Smith planned to practice Wednesday and expects to be close to 100 percent when the Chiefs (4-3) welcome the New York Jets to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.

“We’ll just see how he does, but that’s the way it’s looking,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said before Wednesday’s workouts. “The docs looked at him to make sure he wasn’t in a position where there would be any further injuries, but he was OK today. Felt good yesterday.”

That’s good news given Smith’s history of shoulder trouble.

The first significant injury happened four games into the 2007 season, when Smith was starting for San Francisco against Seattle. He separated his shoulder on the first series of the game, and wound up missing the next two weeks. Smith returned to play in three games, struggling in each, and did not play the rest of the season.

He had surgery that December to repair three torn ligaments, and then went through an entire offseason of rehabilitation to prepare for the 2008 season.

Just before it was about to begin, Smith was throwing a pass in practice and felt a sharp pain in the shoulder. Tests revealed a broken bone, and Smith spent the entire season on IR.

Throw in a separated non-throwing shoulder in 2010, when Smith was landed on by Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson, and it made sense that he was worried when he felt soreness Sunday.

“Enough that I went in and was getting treatment at halftime and getting it looked at,” he said. “But in the middle of it you’re pretty loose, feeling loose.”

The Chiefs rarely threw downfield in the second half against St. Louis, though Reid and Smith both denied the play calling had anything to do with the quarterback’s physical limitations.

“I hope not. I certainly didn’t feel like that, didn’t need to be like that,” Smith said. “I felt 100 percent, felt like I could do anything I had to do. Honestly, I’m going where the defense tells me to. I’m not predetermining anything.”

Smith wound up completing 24 of 28 passes for 226 yards against the Rams. He’s completing a career-best 66 percent of his passes this season, with nine touchdowns and four interceptions.

In other injury news, veteran linebacker Joe Mays returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since landing on the short-term IR in training camp with a broken wrist.

Reid said Mays will ease back into practice and it’s a long shot for him to be ready for Sunday’s game. The Chiefs have three weeks to add him back to the active roster.

“We’re just going to try to get him back in the swing of things,” Reid said. “We look forward to doing that, start getting him back into a little bit of football shape.”

Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry, who has missed the last five games with a sprained ankle, also practiced Wednesday. Defensive back Chris Owens was back from a knee injury.