Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones doesn’t expect to fully participate in on-field activities until training camp, according to an interview posted by Sports Illustrated on Monday. The 25-year-old suffered a fractured foot last October and says he’s only running routes at this time, though he will be ready for Week 1.
“Just being able to plant off my foot, off my right foot — the one I injured last year — it feels really good, so that’s what I’m able to do right now,” Jones said.
Arguably the top weapon in the Falcons’ offense since emerging as a rookie in 2011, Jones caught 41 passes for 580 yards and two touchdowns in five games last season, averaging 12 targets per contest. He suffered the broken foot during a Week 5 game against the New York Jets, though the team initially denied that the injury was indeed season-ending.
As the stats show, with over 100 yards per game, Jones was rolling prior to the injury, so the Falcons’ offense understandably suffered badly without him. Many factors played into Atlanta’s disappointing 3-13 campaign in 2013, but losing their top receiver weeks into the season was undoubtedly one of them.
With a much healthier receiving corps in 2014, not only with Jones but Roddy White as well, the Falcons’ offense should look more potent going forward. Even with this delay, Matt Ryan should have a much easier time moving the ball in the coming months.