The Falcons shared their full injury report just a few minutes ago, and it's got that smooth blend of good news and bad news that you're used to seeing by now.
WR Julio Jones (hamstring) is listed as probable for Thursday's game. C Mike Person (ankle), LB Justin Durant (elbow) ruled out. #ATLvsNO— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) October 14, 2015
The good news? Having Julio Jones on the field is a boon for the offense, even if I have my doubts about how many snaps he's actually going to play. If they can get him out there for 20 or 30 plays and occupy a shaky Saints defense with him, it should open up opportunities for other receivers. We legitimately do not know how limited he's going to be, though, so perhaps it's best to sit back and watch what Kyle Shanahan has planned for him.
The bad news? Justin Durant is out for a second straight week, and while the Falcons did a nice job against Washington without him, it'd be nice to have him available. The team will hope that Nate Stupar continues to play extremely well at linebacker and that Joplo Bartu chips in, as well, because without Durant and with a still rusty Brooks Reed, they're a little thin at the position at the moment.
The worst news? Mike Person is out. While the center didn't wow anyone in preseason, he's been a competent-to-terrific blocker for this rejuvenated offensive line through all five games, and the Falcons will certainly miss him in the middle of the line. James Stone will be the starter in his absence, and while I legitimately like Stone, it's a downgrade and he's got to snap the ball better against New Orleans. Gino Gradkowski will likely be active for the first time this year as Stone's backup.
Even with Julio limited and Durant and Person out, the Falcons are and should be favored to win this one. They'll just need others to step up, and let's hope they will.