By Cedric Williams
After sitting out of Wednesday’s workout at the team headquarters and training facility in Flowery Branch, wide receiver Julio Jones (toe/hamstring) was back at practice for the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday.READ MORE: Three-Dose Covid-19 Vaccine Produces Strong Immune Responses In Children Ages Six Months To Five Years, Pfizer And BioNTech Say
Jones, who was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Month by the league office in the morning, wasn’t with his teammates as practice began Thursday afternoon. But once the workout got going, Jones made an appearance and was officially listed as a limited participant—meaning he was only allowed to participate in certain drills—as the Falcons continued to get ready for Sunday’s NFL Week 4 showdown at the Georgia Dome with the visiting Houston Texans.
Atlanta used this same method of preparation to get Jones ready for last week’s game in Dallas, where coincidentally, Jones had 12 catches for 164 yards and two touchdowns in a thrilling 39-28 Falcon victory over the Cowboys. It was a performance that helped the receiver earn his first NFC Offensive Player of the Month award. So there seems to be little doubt that Jones will play Sunday against Houston.
“It’s on the top of his foot. It’s not turf toe at all,” Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said on Thursday. “I’m not exactly sure when the injury took place on that on. But (it’s) definitely not underneath… But he’s doing well. And (we) anticipate him being ready to rock (on Sunday).”
Linebacker Brooks Reed, the free agent who signed with Atlanta during the offseason, practiced for the first time this week and was listed as probable on the Falcons official injury report released on Friday. That means the fifth-year pro out of Arizona, who began his career with the Texans, will make his Falcons debut on Sunday against his former team.
Safety Ricardo Allen (knee), wide receiver/kick returner Devin Hester (toe), running back Tevin Coleman (ribs) and tight end Jacob Tamme (concussion) have been ruled out for the upcoming contest.
Not having Allen could be huge for Atlanta, which will now have to start undrafted rookie Robenson Therezie at free safety. The former Auburn University standout signed with the Falcons as a free agent to play cornerback originally, but moved to safety during training camp, where he has been impressive according to Quinn.READ MORE: Freedom Plasma Opens Up A Location In St. Petersburg
“As you guys know, he’s somebody that we’ve been really excited about,” Quinn said. The opportunity for him to come in and play middle field safety; we’re really excited for him. He’s had a terrific offseason in terms of coming back, the camp that he had, and getting the details down. He worked really hard with Secondary/Senior Def. Assistant Marquand Manuel to get it right, and we’re really excited for him.”
For the Texans, safety Lonnie Ballentine, LB Akeem Dent, and RB Jonathan Grimes were all ruled out for Sunday. Running back Arian Foster was listed as questionable and will likely be a game-time decision. This marks the first time this season that the four-time Pro Bowler has not been ruled out on Houston’s official Friday injury report.
Atlanta Falcons Injury Report
RB Devonta Freeman (toe)
WR Julio Jones (toe/hamstring)
LB Brooks Reed (groin)
RB Tevin Coleman (ribs)
TE Jacob Tamme (concussion)
CB Ricardo Allen (knee)
WR/KR Devin Hester (turf toe)
Houston Texans Injury Report
Eddie Pleasant, Safety (thigh)
Lonnie Ballentine, Safety (knee)
Jadeveon Clowney, Linebacker (shoulder)
Akeem Dent, Linebacker (hamstring)
Arian Foster, Running Back (groin)
Jonathan Grimes, Running Back (knee)
Johnathan Joseph, Cornerback (hip)
Ryan Mallet, Quarterback (chest)
Cedric Williams, a lifelong St. Louisan and proud UMSL alum, has been a full-time reporter/photographer covering St. Louis area sports for nearly two decades. Most recently, he has been working as a credentialed beat writer covering the NFL, as well as college and high school sports for the St. Louis American, Patch.com, and other outlets from around the area. Please share any comments, questions, or feedback with Cedric at firstname.lastname@example.org. His work can be found on Examiner.com.