By Matthew Asher
The Atlanta Falcons can’t catch a break this season when it comes to injuries. After traveling to Charlotte, N.C. on Wednesday to have a second opinion by foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson, Julio Jones found out that he would be out for the remainder of the 2013 season because of an injury he sustained to his right hamstring in Atlanta’s 30-28 loss to the Jets on Monday. Before his 2011 rookie campaign, Julio Jones had a broken bone in the same foot repaired by Dr Anderson.
This is another major blow to the Falcons 2013 campaign. Jones currently leads the NFL with 41 receptions and his 580 receiving yards are second only to New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham’s 593. If you’re wondering why Atlanta has just one victory this season, Jones didn’t even lead the Falcons in touchdown receptions; that belongs to Tony Gonzalez who has three..
Coach Mike Smith was understandably frustrated with the news. “Injuries are a part of the NFL and you’ve got to deal with them,” Smitty said. “Everybody has to deal with them. Our guys understand it’s an opportunity for somebody else to step up. We’ve done it many times already this season. It’s not going to be any different than any other week.”
Julio joins the ever-growing list of starting Falcons injured. Jones joins defensive end Kroy Biermann and fullback Bradie Ewing as the newest of three starters to be placed on the injured reserve for the rest of the season. Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is on the injured reserve-designated list, meaning the earliest he he can return is Week 11. Running back Steven Jackson was injured in Atlanta’s only win of the season back in Week 2, and even though he’s played every game, Roddy White’s nagging have left him as nothing more than a decoy.
Earlier this week, it was suggested backup wide receivers Harry Douglas, Drew Davis and Kevin Cone start preparing for their Week 7 game against the Bucs like they’re going to be the starters. Now that’s exactly the situation. Harry Douglas has the most receptions out of the backups and the fourth most on the team with 16. Atlanta’s other starting wide receiver, Roddy White, has just 14 catches through five games.
While it’s not exactly a silver lining, with the Bye Week now for the Falcons, White should be able to get some much needed rest for a chance to get rid of his nagging injuries. In addition, Steven Jackson’s original diagnosis was he would be out two to four weeks. By the October 20th game, it will have been six weeks since the injury.
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Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist. From an early age, sports have played a major role in his life. He graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Journalism. After college he spent 2 years working with CNN Sports and still occasionally writes sports articles for several publications both in the United States and Canada. His work can be found on Examiner.com.