FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Dan Quinn announced Wednesday that Pro Bowl linebacker Deion Jones will return to the practice field for the first time since Week 1.
Jones was placed on injured reserve following the Falcons' season-opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles due to a foot injury, but he was always expected to return at some point later in the season. That time is now.
Although Jones will be back and practicing with the team, the earliest he can play in a game for the Falcons is their Week 11 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys. Per NFL rules, a player must sit out at least eight games after going on IR before he can play in a game.
One of the fastest middle linebackers in the league, Jones' return will provide a major boost for an Atlanta defense that has been playing well in recent weeks. At 4-4, the Falcons have climbed back into contention after a slew of major injuries, including the one to Jones, threatened to derail their season early this fall. But Jones, who has 253 tackles, 23 pass defenses, seven interceptions and two touchdowns in his career, is nearing his return and the Falcons will be all the better for it.