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Julio Jones worryingly a “game-time decision” for Sunday already, per Raheem Morris

The veteran receiver missed most of Week 11’s matchup against the Saints, and could miss the game against the Raiders too.

Denver Broncos v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Julio Jones is one of the greatest ever to do it, and through the years he’s fought through a lot of injuries to play, sometimes in games of great importance and sometimes in games that don’t mean much at all. Even in the Saints game, where the Falcons were getting creamed and he spent much of the day on the sidelines, #11 forced his way back into the game to make one big catch before exiting for good.

The reality is that Julio is no longer 25—hell, not many of us are—and injuries that he was once able to push through might be unwise to push through now. In words and actions, the Falcons are indicating that Julio’s uncertain for this upcoming tilt against the Las Vegas Raiders.

From Will McFadden’s piece at AtlantaFalcons.com:

“We’ve got to get Julio in the building; he was in today getting treatment, doing all of the things he needs to do,” Morris said. “… When we get a chance to take him through Wednesday, through Thursday. Obviously, we’ll take Julio to a game-time decision and give him the best opportunity in order to go out there and be able to compete, as long as he’s healthy.”

If you’re throwing around a phrase like “game-time decision” on a Monday, that doesn’t speak to a ton of confidence in my eyes. Jones has dealt with hamstring issues throughout the year and has missed a couple of games already, so the smart play is probably to park him against one of the league’s weakest secondaries and hope he’s full strength against the Saints in Week 13, when the team will desperately need him. It’s one thing to say that and another thing to go through with it, especially when we know Julio will want to play and when Raheem Morris and this coaching staff really need some bounceback games after an awful, ugly loss to New Orleans.

I’m not a betting man, but I think ultimately Jones will wind up parked for Sunday’s tilt. The Falcons brought back former practice squad receiver Devin Gray, a quiet indication that they may need another receiver against the Raiders, and Matt Ryan and company really have to be able to get the job done against an anemic pass rush and shaky secondary like Las Vegas’s with or without Julio. We’ll keep you posted throughout the week as we learn more, though.