Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones' health is a constant source of stress. It's frankly to the point where we just expect that he's going to play through some sort of "tweak." Given the team's commitment to relying less on Julio, we assumed he'd stay relatively healthy this season.
Unfortunately that just hasn't been the case. But alas, despite all the doom and gloom that surfaces every time Julio limps his way off the field, he's promising us that he isn't injured. (Credit to Vaughn McClure for the quote.)
"I'm not injured or anything like that," Jones told reporters, adding that he feels "good about the way I played in the game." Jones had one catch for 16 yards in the Falcons' 45-32 over the Saints. Before Monday night, the last time Jones was held to one catch was Sept. 30, 2012, against the Carolina Panthers (a 30-28 Falcons victory).
As much as we wished for an offense that didn't have to rely on Julio ad nauseum, there's something inherently unsettling when they finally give us what we've been asking for. We're not used to seeing Julio with so few receptions, so a little paranoia is natural. But don't forget, even if he isn't catching every other ball, he's still got a role on this offense. If Julio draws multiple defenders or throws an effective block, he's still helping the offense move the ball down the field. That's really what he's getting at in his comments.
All that said, if anyone is foolish enough to sleep on Julio, then they're going to have a bad time. I honestly think he's being sincere here; he's playing through normal bumps and bruises. Our frequent dealings with actual Julio injuries or possible Julio injuries or suspected Julio injuries have the unintended effect of making us overly paranoid.