There are a lot of factors that you can point to as reasons the Atlanta Falcons had a miserable campaign in 2014, but the one that sticks out the most is injury. More notably, injuries to key players on the team such as one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, Julio Jones.
In Week 5 last season, Jones injured his left foot and ended up missing the rest of the regular season as he required surgery on the setback, and to make matters worse, it also happened to be the same foot he had a screw inserted into in 2011.
But this season, Jones is expected to be back and ready to terrorize opposing defenses once again. However, according to head coach Mike Smith, because of the time the injury still needs to heal, Jones won’t be doing much in offseason workouts and shouldn’t be participating fully in drills until training camp hits.
“Our focus is strictly on getting them ready to go for training camp” in late July, Smith told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Now the second part of the “them” that Smith is referring to is linebacker Sean Weatherspoon who is also recovering from a knee injury that caused him to miss the final two regular season games last year.
With the caution being used by Smith in regards to when these two key pieces get back on the field, you can see how much staying healthy is a factor in the Falcons’ success.