Julio Jones Probable for TNF vs. Saints


Julio Jones status for the Atlanta Falcons matchup with their bitter division rival the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night is uncertain.

D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Julio Jones has not practiced this week due to a nagging hamstring injury that has prevented the Falcons’ star wide receiver from practicing. Talking to Ledbetter, Julio Jones discussed his recovery and what measures he has taken to remedy the injury:

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"“Mainly sleep…That’s the biggest thing… . I can’t put a time on it, (or say) how I will be feeling prior to the game.”"

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The New Orleans Saints have a porous defense, ranking at the bottom in the NFL. The Atlanta Falcons are still dangerous on offense, even without Julio Jones, should he not appear in Thursday night’s contest. The emergence of Devonta Freeman and the running game has balanced the offense, and a deep wide receiving corps with Roddy White, Leonard Hankerson, Nick Williams and TE Jacob Tamme showcase the depth of the Falcons.

D. Orlando Ledbetter also elaborated on the other forms of treatment that Julio Jones has underwent in an attempt to play on Thursday. They include ice and electric stimulation to help reduce the pain caused by his hamstring injury.

Tiffany Blackmon of NFL Media reported this morning that Julio Jones will in fact play against New Orleans, but the Falcons will “monitor his pitch count”.

Over the past two weeks, Julio Jones has struggled with the same sore hamstring; and in each game has played. Though his numbers have taken a significant drop from his first 3 games where he was nearly unstoppable on offense, Julio Jones is still the most dangerous weapon on offense for the Atlanta Falcons.

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Whenever the Falcons play the New Orleans Saints, records do not matter. The Saints stand at 1-4 early in the NFL season, but are nonetheless a dangerous team. At 5-0, the Falcons are the NFC South division leaders, but don’t discount the Saints wanting to get revenge for two losses last season and a desire to get back on track after a tumultuous beginning to their campaign.

Julio Jones’s presence on offense provides a morale boost for the Falcons, and mitigates the chances for a letdown on the road against their 1-4 rivals. Still though, if Julio Jones cannot play on Thursday, it is not the end of the world. As I mentioned before, the Falcons are balanced and deep enough on offense to attenuate the loss of Jones’s production should he not feel well enough to suit up on Thursday. Rise Up!

Next: Devonta Freeman: Atlanta Falcons' Bell-Cow Back?

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