Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones leaves game with foot issue


As the Atlanta Falcons prepare for the NFC Championship, the status of wide receiver Julio Jones may be up in the air.

The Atlanta Falcons fairly easily dispatched the Seattle Seahawks by the score of 36-20 on Saturday, and they will advance to the NFC Championship Game in Dan Quinn’s second season as head coach.

But as the game wound down in the fourth quarter, some potentially troubling injury news surfaced.

Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones left the game in the fourth quarter, and FOX sideline reporter Pam Oliver passed along the news he would not return. With the result not in doubt it made sense to remove Jones from Saturday’s game, and Oliver also reported the move to take Jones out as being precautionary. But his status for next week’s NFC Championship Game will now be a storyline leading into next weekend.

Jones has been dealing with a foot/turf toe issue for awhile now, and he missed Week 14 and Week 15 of the regular season because of it. Atlanta’s first-round playoff bye appeared to have benefitted him, as he practiced all last week, but Jones seems unlikely to be 100 percent healthy until after the season. In his initial report, ESPN’s Vaughn McClure did note it was unclear if the new injury for Jones was to the same foot as the initial issue.

That being said, with what will be on the line next week, Jones will surely do whatever it takes to be on the field. The two regular season games he missed with his foot issue came against the Los Angeles and San Francisco 49ers, and the Falcons won those contests by a combined score of 83-27.

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The Falcons will face the winner of Sunday’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys in the conference title game. If the Packers win, Atlanta will get one more game in the Georgia Dome and if the Cowboys win, the Falcons will travel to Dallas. Either way, the mere prospect that Jones will miss the game greatly diminishes Atlanta’s chances to win.