HOUSTON — According to a pool report from Rice University, where the Atlanta Falcons practiced Wednesday in preparations for Super Bowl LI, wide receiver Julio Jones worked with the offensive starters against the first-team defense early in the session. More important that who he was matched with, was how he practiced.
Jones caught two passes from Matt Ryan in that early portion of practice and never limped; reportedly cutting and sprinting like normal. Falcons head coach Dan Quinn gave even more good news on Wednesday.
“He’s healthy,” said coach Dan Quinn after practice. “It would take an awful lot, an act of nature, for him not to be 100 percent rolling on Sunday. I have to do a good job of managing him too, but he goes at one speed. He’s not comfortable at taking anything three-quarters, as I’ve learned in my two years with him.”
Jones hasn’t been 100 percent for some time. He wasn’t fully healthy — not really close — when he caught nine passes for 180 and two scores in the NFC Championship Game against Green Bay. He wasn’t 100 percent when he helped Atlanta wallop Seattle with a touchdown catch and 67 yards on six grabs.
With their star wideout 100 percent, the Falcons can open the playbook and they can play without restrictions. That’s means the leagues most potent offensive attack just got more firepower.