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Julio Jones injury: Falcons’ star receiver ready to go, as are Mack and Freeney

Good news all around, even if we’ll be watching Mack warily.

Atlanta Falcons Practice Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Good news, everyone! Julio Jones and Dwight Freeney are no longer even on the injury report, and Alex Mack should start.

Julio is going to be an integral part of the offense. Even if the Patriots successfully scheme for him and manage to limit his contributions, he’s going to soak up a lot of attention, and we all know the Falcons are capable of doing great things if defenses have to focus a couple of defenders on #11.

Similarly, Freeney will be a huge piece of the team’s pass rush, which will need to put pressure on Tom Brady to give the Falcons a shot at containing a very good Patriots offense. All eyes will be on the defensive tackles, but the Falcons will try some blitzes and certainly try some stunts with Vic Beasley and Freeney to gin up the pressure. Freeney is no stranger to Tom Brady or the stage, so I’m very glad he’s here and healthy.

The only sour note is that Mack is still listed on the injury report, but Thomas Dimitroff said earlier today that all indications are that he’ll play. It was never really in doubt, though obviously we have to hope he’s as close to 100% as possible against a talented Patriots defensive line.

The Falcons kick off on Sunday in the Super Bowl, and these three players will all be a huge part of the team’s success. Having this roster healthy and ready to roll ensures the Falcons will give the Patriots all they can, and god, I hope that’s enough for a win.