Falcondom clutched its pearls when word came in of Julio Jones and a calf injury that held him out of practice Wednesday and Thursday.
Though, he spoke with reporters about the issue around missing his second practice and tried to calm any worries it was major.
Julio Jones said missing practice yesterday was a precaution. Nothing serious. Said his calf tightened his up during the Panthers win.— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) September 20, 2018
Jones missing two days of practice isn’t ideal, though with the rash of ailments plaguing Flowery Branch right now, it’s no surprise the team wants to keep Jones as loose and healthy as possible. They know he’ll be alright if he misses a day or two leading up to the game.
A sore calf won’t keep him from missing time, but aggravating that calf in a practice session would do no one any good. He’s going to play Sunday unless a catastrophic setback hits. *knocks on wood*
Though, you might want to get concerned about the edge depth, with DE Takkarist McKinley and DE Derrick Shelby still out, along with RB Devonta Freeman (expected to miss this week) and new LB Corey Nelson, who got hurt Wednesday.
Julio Jones (calf), Devonta Freeman (knee), Takk McKinley (groin), Derrick Shelby (groin) and Corey Nelson (calf) are not at practice.— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) September 20, 2018
For Atlanta, the edge depth right now is sparse. If both McKinley and Shelby miss, they’ll for sure make DE Steven Means active Sunday, and, hypothetically, could sign a free agent.
If not, look for DTs Jack Crawford and/or Justin Zimmer to get looks at end. They’ll need someone to rotate in for that fourth spot. Let’s hope both of the hurt edge guys can go, though, particularly McKinley. He’s been far and above the best edge rusher this year.
The team has playoff aspirations, though, and might be more gingerly than normal about rushing guys back. Right now, McKinley and Shelby are no sure bets. If Nelson can’t go, it leaves them a bit thin at linebacker, too. Maybe they’ll call up Richard Jarvis?
Another day, another injury. Here’s hoping this wash of hurt Falcons stops sooner than later.