Akeem Dent Injury: Falcons LB Cleared To Return To Practice

June 6, 2012; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons linebacker Akeem Dent (52) during organized team activities at the Falcons training facility. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

Akeem Dent has been cleared to return to practice after exiting an exhibition loss against the Baltimore Ravens with a concussion.

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Akeem Dent has been cleared to return to practice and participated in non-contact drills Saturday.

Dent is the frontrunner for the starting job at middle linebacker and was knocked out of the team's first exhibition game, a 31-17 loss to the Ravens, on a punt return hit he doesn't even remember taking.

"I just remember covering the punt, going out there and playing full speed," Dent said. "It's football."

In accordance with the league's concussion protocol program, Dent sat out the exhibition loss against the Cincinnati Bengals. The team is hoping that contact drills will be the final step for him to clear the concussion program in time for the next exhibition, against the Miami Dolphins on Aug. 24.

Dent had 20 tackles last year as a rookie, 13 solo and seven assisted.

For complete Atlanta Falcons news and analysis, check out The Falcoholic.

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