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Falcons might be wise to rest Julio Jones (turf toe) a game or two


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Falcons might be wise to rest Julio Jones (turf toe) a game or two

Vaughn McClure

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn has stated all season how star receiver Julio Jones is a warrior through injuries, but Quinn might want to intervene to make sure his warrior is ready for the stretch run.

Quinn revealed Monday how Jones is dealing with turf toe, which is a sprain of the ligaments surrounding the big toe. It affects the ability to plant and cut, which is a big part of Jones' explosive game.

Medical experts will tell you the mildest case of turf toe involves one to four weeks of recovery. A moderate case can be two to six weeks of recovery. And a severe case can be four weeks to an indefinite period.

The last time Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan missed a game was in 2009 as a result of turf toe. In fact, Ryan missed two contests and three-plus quarters of another game as a result of the injury.

It can be a serious issue if not treated with extreme caution, meaning the Falcons might want to consider at least sitting Jones this Sunday against the Rams, if not longer. Quinn said he's not worried about this being a serious case of turf toe for Jones, but the big picture of having Jones at his best for a playoff run has to be at the forefront of the Falcons' thoughts.

Quinn was asked about handling Jones' injury delicately.

"You know, I have a good relationship with him, and that's something we discuss together," Quinn said. "When he can perform at a level that he's comfortable with -- he knows he's not going to feel 100 percent, much like a lot of the guys in the locker room. You ask them what hurts, and there's going to be a long list if you ask them.

"However, there's a level that he knows he can play with ... He is an extremely fast healer, all the work that he puts in off the field to get right. ... Knowing what he's capable of, knowing what he's capable of playing with, that's a conversation that he and I will have together."

No doubt Jones will insist he's "good to go," just like he did after suffering the left-foot injury in Sunday's 29-28 loss to Kansas City, and just like he's maintained the entire season. He hasn't missed a start despite appearing on the injury report with ankle, shoulder, calf, and knee injuries through the first 12 games. In fact, the last game Jones missed was Dec. 14 of 2014 against Pittsburgh as a result of a hip injury. So, Jones has played in 30 consecutive games.

There's nothing wrong with that streak coming to an end, particularly if it's best for the team. And Jones, who leads the NFL 1,253 receiving yards, said he doesn't care about individual numbers. He wants to do what's best for the team.

The Falcons are 4-0 this season in games when Jones has 35 or less receiving yards, meaning the offense is capable of functioning without him. At 7-5 and tied atop the NFC South with the Buccaneers, the Falcons should be able to contend with the Rams (4-8) without Jones, and certainly should be able to beat the 49ers (1-11) at home in a couple weeks if Jones is resting. It might be a tougher task for Ryan if he's without Jones, left tackle Jake Matthews (knee sprain), and receiver Mohamed Sanu (groin strain), but the Falcons have a two-headed monster in the backfield with Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman and a beast at center in Alex Mack.

We'll see how Quinn proceeds with the situation after taking a look at Jones' progress come Wednesday. But the Falcons certainly want their best player as healthy as can be for when it matters most.

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6 minutes ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

I don't like this because teams will defend the Falcons an entirely different way without Julio on the field.  Just man up the WRs and put a safety in the box.

Take away Sanu as a well and the run blocking he and Julio provide and if Matthews is out....  the run game may be in trouble as well.

This could be bad.

All true. I'd like to see us get the TEs involved again. Idk if it's strictly from missing Tamme but we havent see very much 3 TE stuff lately. Don't you think we could score enough points to beat the rams and that pitiful offense?

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26 minutes ago, Butudontseeme™ said:

All true. I'd like to see us get the TEs involved again. Idk if it's strictly from missing Tamme but we havent see very much 3 TE stuff lately. Don't you think we could score enough points to beat the rams and that pitiful offense?

I think we can agree that Donald is going to destroy Chester so I'm not sure how the line is going to hold up with no Jake Matthews blocking Robert Quinn.  If they figure out the line can't protect then the Rams will just sit on all the short stuff and start jumping routes which is basically what happened in 13 & 14.

And as far as that pitiful offense.... it's not like we have an all world defense.  They still have Todd Gurley and will probably score on the first drive.

What concerns me is the way Matt played against the Chiefs with the 2 picks.  If he plays like that again..... resting guys for the playoffs may be a moot point.

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14 minutes ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

I think we can agree that Donald is going to destroy Chester so I'm not sure how the line is going to hold up with no Jake Matthews blocking Robert Quinn.  If they figure out the line can't protect then the Rams will just sit on all the short stuff and start jumping routes which is basically what happened in 13 & 14.

And as far as that pitiful offense.... it's not like we have an all world defense.  They still have Todd Gurley and will probably score on the first drive.

What concerns me is the way Matt played against the Chiefs with the 2 picks.  If he plays like that again..... resting guys for the playoffs may be a moot point.

Donald might not destroy Chester :ninja:. I'm waaaay more concerned about that than Quinn vs Compton tbh. Matt handles edge pressure much better than pressure up the middle. I think we need to run straight at their d line and let Mack and co fire off on them. We HAVE to get back to an effective play action process. It's too effective not to. 

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We are a team very capable of playing down to the competition and losing against the Rams and 49ers, if we lose those both the divison and playoffs may have escaped us. Right now if he can play he should play, no resting or thinking the next two games are cake walks. We are not a consistent team we can lose to anyone.

Tampa is tied for us for the division and if we lose the division we are most likely out of the playoffs, why do people think we have this all taken care of now? I hope the team has a better sense of urgency as the season is quickly slipping away.

Edited by MAD597
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5 hours ago, slamee101 said:

Would be less worried about this if Sanu was not likely to be out as well.  While he may not have put up the numbers we've expected he's the only other physically imposing WR we have on roster.  

Agree, would hate to have both Julio and Sanu out of action at the same time. It appears that Sanu has become Atlanta's possession receiver. In a way, I would like to see Aldrick Robinson and Gabriel on the field at the same time, but not at the expense of being without Julio and Sanu.

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21 minutes ago, R_The_Great said:

Well this isn't good. Hardy has to step up big time. Maybe this offense will be even more explosive with speed all around.  It all comes down to Playcalling.  If we play scared like we did vs chiefs , we could easily lose out.  

Coaching staff this is on you 

This.

Play small ball and get everyone involved, especially TCO and Free

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7 hours ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

I think we can agree that Donald is going to destroy Chester so I'm not sure how the line is going to hold up with no Jake Matthews blocking Robert Quinn.  If they figure out the line can't protect then the Rams will just sit on all the short stuff and start jumping routes which is basically what happened in 13 & 14.

Good post.

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7 hours ago, Butudontseeme™ said:

Wholeheartedly agree. Rest julio, sanu, Matthews. We have enough on offense to win the next 2. We just have to execute the way we're capable of. Id like to see julio on fresher legs for the last 2 plus playoffs anyway. 

No I think it's silly to wanna rest Julio.  If he thinks he can help us win he needs to be put there.  He is a massive decoy at least and while we have won without him putting up big numbers, his presence on the field opens up so much more for our offense.  

We are in no position to rest anyone right now. We lose the next 2 and the division and playoffs will be out of reach.  But hey at least the boys will be rested lol. 

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4 minutes ago, Mr Plow said:

What good does it do to limp into the playoffs with tired and injured key players? Playing injured star players against the Rams and the Niners is insane.  We can and will beat them without our stars, and if we can't we don't deserve the post season.  It makes much more sense to let our star guys rest against inferior opponents and be ready against strong opponents instead of the other way around.  You can't have it both ways.  :munch:

He obviously isn't hurting  so badly he can't at least fill the role of being a decoy and force rams to double team him. 

with or without Julio,  we need to run the ball effectively.....Shanny abandoned the run at worst of times last week, and outsmarted himself in doing so.

Edited by Vandy
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1 hour ago, R_The_Great said:

Well this isn't good. Hardy has to step up big time. Maybe this offense will be even more explosive with speed all around.  It all comes down to Playcalling.  If we play scared like we did vs chiefs , we could easily lose out.  

Coaching staff this is on you 

We didn't play scared...we are two bad decisions and 1 great fake punt call from winning a game against one of the more consistent teams in the league over the past few years in terms of winning percentage.  Take the pick 6 away, the pick 2, and the fake punt touchdown and that is 16 points.  19 to 23 point swing if you believe we at least kick a FG on the pick 6 drive, which up until that point our offense was scoring on every possession.

They weren't playing scared.

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2 minutes ago, athell said:

We didn't play scared...we are two bad decisions and 1 great fake punt call from winning a game against one of the more consistent teams in the league over the past few years in terms of winning percentage.  Take the pick 6 away, the pick 2, and the fake punt touchdown and that is 16 points.  19 to 23 point swing if you believe we at least kick a FG on the pick 6 drive, which up until that point our offense was scoring on every possession.

They weren't playing scared.

Didn't play scared at all. Clumsily Naive maybe, But not scared. 

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36 minutes ago, Mr Plow said:

What good does it do to limp into the playoffs with tired and injured key players? Playing injured star players against the Rams and the Niners is insane.  We can and will beat them without our stars, and if we can't we don't deserve the post season.  It makes much more sense to let our star guys rest against inferior opponents and be ready against strong opponents instead of the other way around.  You can't have it both ways.  :munch:

It's the NFL and there are no gimmie games.

I wouldn't sleep on the Rams they still have Todd Gurlie and a solid dline. 

I understand resting Julio but if he's out and Sanus out and Matthew is out that could be a problem.  Asking Hardy, Robinson, & Gabriel to run block while Donald is ragdolling the middle of the oline can lead to bad things.

Its not like we can count on the defense to shut down the Rams offense.  It's more likely the Rams will have their best offensive performance of the season.

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9 hours ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

I don't like this because teams will defend the Falcons an entirely different way without Julio on the field.  Just man up the WRs and put a safety in the box.

Take away Sanu as a well and the run blocking he and Julio provide and if Matthews is out....  the run game may be in trouble as well.

This could be bad.

I understand what your saying, but I think you underestimate the difficulty of manning up on a Shanahan offense. I honestly think he will take you apart one play at a time if you make that your game plan. Play action, hold the box safety, 4 receivers in a route, a RB to chip the RDE/ROLB then slip out. Gabriel is going to eat someones lunch with a double move eventually. If they play that scheme, Matthews or no Matthews, their is going to be some time to throw unless they completely shut down the run. I don't see it happening. 

Coleman, Gabriel, Hardy, and some combination of Hooper, Freeman, and Toilolo. Somehow, I don't think our offense is dead in the water. Defenses will play us differently without Julio, and we will game plan differently. Somehow, Its not the offense I'm worried about over the next two weeks. 

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