Even at 31 years old, Julio Jones remains a consensus top-five receiver who should be drafted at the end of the first round or start of the second in all formats. Jones' mystifying touchdown struggles continued in 2019, but so did his elite production everywhere else. He's topped 1,300 receiving yards each of the past six seasons and has averaged more than 100 catches per season over that stretch. Jones and Calvin Ridley should both get as many targets as they can handle with both Mohamed Sanu and Austin Hooper out of the equation. In the second half of 2019, Jones averaged nearly 12 targets per game. If he gets that again, he may just be the No. 1 wide receiver again ... assuming he gets in the end zone.
Jones reeled in seven of 13 targets for 78 receiving yards during Sunday's 28-22 overtime win against Tampa Bay. Jones saw a steady increase to his already abundant usage rate with Calvin Ridley (abdomen) being forced to sit out Atlanta's final three regular-season outings of 2019, averaging an eye-popping 16 targets per game between Weeks 15 and 17 after managing 9.1 targets per game over his first 12 appearances. The 30-year-old wideout has been ridiculously productive since enduring an injury-plagued 2013 campaign, as he has amassed 103.8 receptions and 1,565 receiving yards per year en route to six consecutive Pro-Bowl nods between 2014 and 2019. Jones stands as the top wideout within Atlanta's ultra-talented collection of skill-position players, and his target share is expected to remain that of a No. 1 receiver in 2020, especially if former Pro Bowl tight end Austin Hooper moves on to a new team as result of his contract expiring.
Jones (knee) will play in Sunday's game at Tampa Bay. Jones upgraded to full participation at Friday's practice and doesn't have a game designation on the final injury report. He's drawn 35 targets in two games since Calvin Ridley (abdomen) landed on injured reserve.
Jones (knee) turned in a limited practice Thursday, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Just as coach Dan Quinn said would be the case prior to the session, Jones' reps were capped in the Falcons' penultimate practice of the season. Per Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com, Jones was spotted wearing protective padding on his injured right knee, a new concern for the receiver after he had been tending to a shoulder issue in recent weeks. The Falcons will see what Jones is able to do during Friday's practice before ruling on his availability for Sunday's game in Tampa Bay.
Coach Dan Quinn said Jones (knee) will be a limited participant in Thursday's practice, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The limited workout marks a step forward for Jones, whom Atlanta listed as a non-participant on its estimated practice report Wednesday. While it's worth noting that Jones' injury is different from the shoulder issue that sidelined him in the Thanksgiving Day loss to the Saints, the wideout is still expected to follow a similar practice regimen to what he's followed each of the past three weeks. If that's the case, Jones will likely gain clearance for Sunday's season finale against the Buccaneers and face no significant restrictions in the contest.
The Falcons listed Jones as a non-participant on Wednesday's estimated practice report with a knee injury, Will McFadden of team's official site reports. Since sitting out the Falcons' Thanksgiving Day loss Week 13 with a shoulder injury, the same issue has limited Jones' practice time over the past three weeks, but it hasn't forced any absences on game days. The star wideout is apparently contending with a new concern coming out of Sunday's win over the Jaguars, temporarily clouding his status for this weekend's season finale in Tampa Bay. The Falcons should have a better idea regarding which direction Jones is trending based on his activity in practices Thursday and Friday.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|4||10/06||@Green Bay Packers||12||19.22|
|11||11/22||@New Orleans Saints||27||24.71|
|12||11/29||Las Vegas Raiders||22||22.63|
|13||12/06||New Orleans Saints||27||24.71|
|14||12/13||@Los Angeles Chargers||3||16.13|
|15||12/20||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||32||27.63|
|16||12/27||@Kansas City Chiefs||4||16.68|
|17||01/03||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||32||27.63|
|3 Year Avg||159||100||1505||6||75||15.05||184|