ATLANTA – Deion Jones was back on the field for the Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday, and his presence was felt immediately and constantly.
Jones was the Falcons' leading tackler, finishing the game with 15 total stops, including a tackle for a loss and a sack. The third-year linebacker doubled the production of the next-best tackler for the Falcons on Sunday, which was Foye Oluokun who had six. Jones was placed on injured reserve following a foot injury that occurred in the season opener back in early September.
It's been 10 games since the Pro Bowl linebacker has played a game.But it was pretty hard to tell Jones had missed that much time with the way he played on Sunday.
Needless to say, when Jones is on the field, he certainly impacts the game.
Jones spoke briefly following the loss, expressing his excitement for being back on the field with his teammates.
"It was good," Jones said of making his return. "It was fun, I had fun running around."
Not only is Jones one of Atlanta's best players from a sheer talent standpoint, he's become one of the core leaders on defense and a player the rest of the Falcons' defense relies on.
But Jones didn't want to be the center of attention in his return to the Falcons' defense. He simply wanted to be back on the field to help his team win and the defense play well.
Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett said having Jones back on the field was a "sight" the defense missed seeing and that his fight to come back this season is something his teammates admire.
"It was good having him back out there, hear his voice back there," Jarrett said. "Just seeing him get ready for the game, all the work that he put in to fight to get back in it, no matter where we were at. His plan was always to come back and fight with us and that doesn't go unnoticed and we missed him."
The Falcons face the Baltimore Ravens at Mercedes-Benz Stadium this Sunday afternoon. Get your inside look here.