FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons rookie left tackle Jake Matthews has returned to practice after missing last week's loss at Cincinnati with a sprained left ankle.
Coach Mike Smith said Matthews, the NFL's sixth overall draft pick, participated fully in the 2-hour workout and should start Thursday when Tampa Bay visits the Georgia Dome.
Matthews' improved health means that Gabe Carimi will likely start at right tackle with Lamar Holmes, who struggled badly against the Bengals, going to the bench.
Smith said he was not concerned that four-time Pro Bowl receiver Roddy White has missed the last two days with a sore hamstring, adding that it's unnecessary for a 10th-year veteran to practice on a short week if he's hurting.
Receiver Julio Jones (ankle) and rookie linebacker Prince Shembo (knee) participated fully on Thursday.