Previous reports suggested that Jones might see some action Friday night, but it looks like we won't see him play until next Saturday's dress rehearsal against the Jaguars.
Jones appears to be on track to play in Friday's preseason game against the Chiefs, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
That said, the report suggests that Jones likely won't play much Friday, which makes the Falcons' star wideout a less-than-ideal DFS play this week. More importantly, Jones isn't battling any injuries as the regular season approaches, which is something the Falcons would like to last.
Jones spent most of the 2017 offseason in recovery mode from toe surgery and only made one appearance last preseason, receiving one target in a brief showing. His health wasn't in question this time around, but his contract status was. In the end, the Falcons restructured his contract to provide $2.9 million more for the upcoming campaign. If he takes the field Friday, it may be the sole showing he makes during exhibition season. Beyond that, the most interesting aspect surrounding Jones is his relationship with second-year offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. While Jones posted a fourth 1,400-yard season in a row last year, his TD count (three) was the second lowest of his illustrious career, despite seeing 19 red-zone looks.
Jones believes that he and offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will have a closer relationship with one another this season, and the Falcons' offense should benefit as a result, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. "We are going to have a better relationship," Jones said after practice Tuesday.
Outside of woes in the red zone (where Jones hauled in just two touchdown receptions last season), it seemed like business as usual for the five-time Pro Bowl wide out in his first year playing under Sarkisian, as he mounted his fourth consecutive 1,400-yard campaign. Jones' comments indicating that he believes he has another gear to get to under the offensive coordinator may strike fear in NFC South secondaries. Along with Jones, Sarkisian sounded off as well. "We have eighteen games of working together and understanding the things he does and what he's comfortable with," Sarkisian said. "I think all of that adding up has put us in a much better space at this time this year than maybe this time a year ago."
No NFC playoff team was worse in the red zone last season than the Falcons, whose red zone touchdown rate of 49.2 percent was nearly three percentage points below the fifth-ranked unit (Carolina at 51.8 percent). Neutralization of the team's most potent offensive weapon went a long way in helping that become a reality, as Jones commanded practically a third of Atlanta's red zone targets but hauled in just five of those 19 attempts, tying Mike Evans for the worst efficiency of any receiver with at least 13 targets inside the 20-yard line. With red zone effectiveness being a priority in training camp and Calvin Ridley being added to the receiving corps, Jones has more than a puncher's chance at doubling his touchdown total from three to six.
|P3||8/25/18||@ JAC||7:00 pm|
|1||9/6/18||@ PHI||8:20 pm|
|5||10/7/18||@ PIT||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 8|
|9||11/4/18||@ WAS||1:00 pm|
|10||11/11/18||@ CLE||1:00 pm|
|12||11/22/18||@ NO||8:20 pm|
|14||12/9/18||@ GB||1:00 pm|
|16||12/23/18||@ CAR||1:00 pm|
|17||12/30/18||@ TB||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|