Goober Pyle

Deion Jones, on track to play Sunday, is ‘ready to close out the season with my boys’

18 posts in this topic

https://theathletic.com/684538/2018/11/29/deion-jones-on-track-to-play-sunday-is-ready-to-close-out-the-season-with-my-boys/

 

If Deion Jones wanted to prevent further damage to the foot he injured 11 weeks ago, he could sit out the remainder of the 2018 season and save himself for 2019. Jones is a centerpiece of what the Falcons do defensively, a game-changer who excels in coverage and against the run.

At 4-7 record wise, the Falcons need to win out and receive a whole lot of help to make a late postseason run. With that in mind, it would be understandable for someone like Jones to take a backseat the remainder of the year.

But that’s not the kind of mentality Jones has. If he is able to play, he will play.

And that is exactly what he, his teammates and his coaches are hoping for when the Falcons host Baltimore on Sunday. Jones appears optimistic about being back on the field. Head coach Dan Quinn said Jones’ return is “trending” that way but didn’t want to make any promises.

This season hasn’t gone according to plan for anyone in Atlanta’s locker room. But for Jones, there isn’t anything like suiting up and playing alongside his teammates.

If he is healthy enough to play, Jones is going to play.

“The whole thing is I feel like I just want to close out the season with my boys,” Jones said. “We did a lot of work during camp. I feel right. I feel good. That’s just the type of player I am. I want to have one good ride with this team. Every team changes every year. This one, this year, I just want to enjoy it with those guys while I can.

“Those are my guys. If we have five games to ride it out together and I’m able to do it, I want to be a part of it.”

Players rarely to choose to sit when they physically can play — whether it’s a good season for the team or not. And while there have been exceptions, football teams typically don’t shelve players to prevent further injury or save them for the following year. The players, especially those in leadership positions, usually want to be on the field. If they don’t, that likely won’t go over well in the locker room. 

Pride is a major factor, too. Even if the postseason is out of a team’s picture, there is a belief that players fight alongside each other for as many remaining wins as they possibly can get. With only 16 games in a season, many players feel their opportunities may be limited.

Hence, if players are healthy enough to play, they play.

“Every guy we have a chance to that can play, then yeah, we are going to allow them to battle and do their thing,” Quinn said. “They put their heart and soul into it. We’re going to make the best decisions for them and not put them out there when they can’t do their thing. But if they can, then that’s part of their ‘why,’ battling for one another.”

When it comes to Jones, Quinn has noticed that attribute for quite some time. Jones underwent a strenuous rehab process followed by sessions with a trainer off to the side while his teammates practiced on an adjacent field. Jones then joined in at practice with the scout team before stepping in with the first-team huddle this week.

“He’s dying to get back for himself to play,” Quinn said. “He loves to play; he loves to compete. He’s also dying because he so much wants to help the team. That’s a pretty cool trait and quality to have.”

While away from game action, Jones has made his presence felt and heard in the locker room and in team meetings. Therefore, his road to recovery has been closely observed by his teammates.

“Most guys would miss the whole season due to (this injury),” cornerback Robert Alford said. “Just to see him bounce back the way he’s bounced back, and seeing him run around the way he’s running around this week on the film, it shows how much he cares about the team.”

As for the potential of re-injury, Jones said he has been in constant contact with the coaching staff about how his foot feels. Quinn previously has mentioned that he doesn’t want Jones playing unless he is pain free.

Jones said he is now in a good place, both mentally and physically, with the foot injury.

“I’ve been really good about communicating and making sure that I am back, feeling the way I did before the injury and making sure I’m not out there thinking about it,” Jones said. “It’s part of the game. You can’t play thinking like that. God forbid anything happens, but this is what I love to do, and it’s what I want to do if I’m able to do it.”

While Jones has been listed as limited in practice the past two days, Quinn said he received a full allotment of reps Wednesday. It can be assumed he received the same treatment Thursday. 

Jones is anxious to get back on the field doing what he loves. As long as he doesn’t suffer a setback in the remaining days before the game, he will, in all likelihood, make his return against the Ravens.

“I’ve worked really hard to get back healthy and feel like myself again,” Jones said. “It took some time, and it was a grind. Now I’m back, and I want to play some ball. I’ve been missing it.”

 

Jones’ cleats for a cause

On Sunday, NFL players will be allowed to wear customized cleats for the league’s “My Cleats My Cause” campaign. Jones will wear a pair of white Adidas cleats with gold designs painted on it to advocate for pediatric cancer.

Last December, Jones visited Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and met a young girl afflicted with cancer. The two formed a bond and started following each other on social media. The idea to wear these cleats came when Jones saw a post the young girl wrote on one of her social media accounts asking why NFL players don’t bring more attention to children’s cancer.

“When I saw (her post), I felt that was a chance for me to pay it back,” Jones said. “I definitely had to put on some gold.”

Much like pink is to breast cancer, gold is the color used to represent pediatric cancer.  Jones said he will wear these cleats during pregame warm-ups.

Last year’s visit to Children’s Healthcare marked the first time Jones had met a child battling cancer. He described the moment as “empowering” for him.

“She had a really good attitude, embraced it,” Jones said. “She was pretty much the motto of how to fight. I really respected her about it. She is so young and powerful.”

Other Falcons players are joining in the “My Cleats My Cause” campaign, as well. Receiver Calvin Ridley is wearing a pair of cleats honoring the SOS Children’s Village in Florida, based on the time he spent there in foster care as a child.

Quarterback Matt Ryan’s cleats, which he will wear for the entire Ravens game, will honor the Northside Hospital (Atlanta) neonatal intensive care unit and the March of Dimes. Ryan’s twin boys were born prematurely in January, which has made these two organizations dear to his heart.

“I think for anyone that has had children prematurely or has had a pregnancy or is on bed rest in the hospital, the scariest part is when they talk to you about survival rates for children born at certain times,” Ryan said. “That was probably the hardest thing to go through for the both of us. It was amazing for her to spend as much time and to keep our boys in there as long as she did to get the boys to a spot where they could thrive when they were born. We’re both very lucky and very fortunate for that to be the case.”

Bryant misses another practice

For the second consecutive day, place-kicker Matt Bryant did not participate in practice due to a back injury. This could put his status in doubt for Sunday.

Bryant missed three games earlier this season due to a right hamstring injury that occurred while making a 57-yard field goal against Tampa Bay. If Bryant is unable to play, Giorgio Tavecchio will compete in his place. The Falcons decided to keep Tavecchio, who kicked for Bryant when he was out, on the roster after he went 5-of-5 kicking, with a long of 56, in three games.

 

Falcons In 2012 likes this

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This doesn't mean get your hopes up again. Quinn said yesterday that there were no setbacks this week but he doesn't want to make a promise that he can't follow through on. Just be cautious until its officially announced that he'll play. It's too soon for another meltdown regarding him

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44 minutes ago, Goober Pyle said:

“He’s dying,” Quinn said.

Pour one out for the homie

3 minutes ago, I Even Bleed Red said:

What's the point? Winning games just pushes back our draft number now

Rarely get a chance to win a SB in your own house. Fight till mathematically eliminated.

If they're as bad as these boards think, they'll be 4-12 regardless.

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23 minutes ago, I Even Bleed Red said:

What's the point? Winning games just pushes back our draft number now

Put more good games on film that can be used for contract negotiations.

That way his agent can squash any talk of less money due to lingering injury concerns 

I Even Bleed Red likes this

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2 hours ago, I Even Bleed Red said:

What's the point? Winning games just pushes back our draft number now

Can't say the seasons dead yet, even if it is. Gotta embrace the suck, and embrace that mid-round draft pick we'll get because of it lol

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2 hours ago, Francis York Morgan said:

Pour one out for the homie

Rarely get a chance to win a SB in your own house. Fight till mathematically eliminated.

If they're as bad as these boards think, they'll be 4-12 regardless.

If there is a chance to fight for a sb at home u got to.id rather them fight and let the draft fall however it does 

FalconFanSince1970 likes this

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6 hours ago, sdogg said:

Waste of time. 

Lol what a joker.

Jones is a competitor let him go he wants to play.

If he's good to go and can go full tilt no doubt about it I'd let him play for sure.

Team leader right there.

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I'm in full tank mode now.

I'd sit DJones the rest of the year.

Bench Ryan and Julio for the rest of the year too so there's no chance of serious injury. 

Yes, I want a high 1st rd pick but it's the high 2nd rd pick is where we normally strike oil.

 

I fully expect the TATF mafia to run me out of here now...

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But I don't care....

WtUO5Wp.gif

ya_boi_j likes this

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