Atlanta Falcons’ Julio Jones feels ‘good’ despite hamstring injury
FLOWERY BRANCH, GA. — Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who missed last week’s 30-26 loss to the Chicago Bears due to a left hamstring injury, said he feels “good” in preparation for Monday night’s game at Green Bay but stopped short of declaring himself 100%.
Jones was a limited participant in practice for the second consecutive day Friday after missing practice all last week. He looked explosive running routes during early drills.
“When you have soft-tissue, it’s like a day-to-day thing,” Jones told reporters following practice. “You just really gotta feel it out. So you don’t know. You’re really uncertain with it. But I feel good. Just working just a little bit here and there every day; just building confidence and just getting the strength and everything back.”
Asked specifically whether he is set to go Monday night, Jones responded, “It’s a soft-tissue issue, like I said. I feel good right now. I definitely feel good. I’ve been running really well at practice. But, it’s just you don’t know. I’m not 100% with anything, but I feel good.”
Jones injured the hamstring prior to the start of the regular season, then tweaked it in a Week 2 loss at Dallas. He said the injury affected him “a little” when he dropped what could have been a touchdown on a strike thrown by fellow receiver Russell Gage against the Cowboys. Television cameras showed Jones getting his left leg stretched out on the sideline immediately after the play.
Jones said resting the hamstring last week “definitely helped me” and that he possibly could have played against the Bears but wouldn’t have played a full game.
The Falcons’ top three wide receivers were on the injury report, with Jones limited by the hamstring, Calvin Ridley limited by ankle and calf injuries, and Russell Gage a full participant off a concussion. Ridley, who is tied for the league lead with four touchdown receptions and second in receiving yards (349) behind DeAndre Hopkins (356), appeared a bit hobbled while running through drills Friday.
The other wide receivers in the rotation include Olamide Zaccheaus, Brandon Powell and Christian Blake.
Despite not declaring himself ready to go, Jones spoke as if he’s set to face the Packers secondary.
“They play a lot of dime; six DBs,” Jones said. “For us to be able to attack Green Bay, just take what they give us. If they’re going to double me [and] single other guys up, I’m looking forward to those guys making plays. Or if I get singled up, I’m looking forward for myself to make plays.”
Jones has 37 catches for 698 yards and five touchdowns in six career games against the Packers, including the playoffs. That includes an 11-catch, 259-yard, one-touchdown performance in a 43-37 Monday night loss in Green on Dec. 8, 2014.