The Atlanta Falcons sorely missed star wide receiver Julio Jones for the better part of the 2013 season, but the team does not want to rush his return from foot surgery.
Jones, who just recently began being able to run and make cuts, is also taking this situation seriously, but according to NFL.com, he is still eying a Week 1 return to the field for the Falcons.
“It is a serious injury, and knowing that I broke the same bone in a different spot over the course of two years,” Jones said. “So it’s a very serious matter, and we’re not trying to play with it.
We’re taking all the precautions before throwing me back out there and just saying, ‘He’s ready to go,’” the former Alabama standout continued. “I feel great, I feel good, but at the same time, we have to take it slow because the season is still far away.”
Jones will not be participating in Atlanta’s upcoming mandatory mini-camp, but he looks to be available to participate in training camp when it begins. Beyond that, he hopes to be back on the field for the Falcons season opener against the New Orleans Saints.
“I can’t let me emotions get involved. Still have to get out there and do what I do best,” Jones said. “Even though I’m going to be very, very excited to be out there, I can’t let my emotions get involved because I don’t want to make any mental mistakes.”
And for Atlanta fans who are concerned that Jones will be healed just in time to become another team’s free agent target when his contract expires at the end of this season, Jones seems to be nipping that in the bud as well.
“I will not get to free agency,” Jones told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “They gave up a lot for me and they know how hard I work. They’re not going to let me go. And I love Atlanta, I love being here.”
I guess that puts that baby to bed.