FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- For the first time since Week 1, the Falcons will have their Pro Bowl linebacker at the heart of their defense.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn announced Friday that Deion Jones would play in the team's upcoming game against the Baltimore Ravens after being sidelined due to a foot injury he sustained in Atlanta's season opener. Jones was activated off of IR prior to the Falcons' game against the Cowboys on Week 11, but he had been inactive for Atlanta's previous two games.
"Deion is in, he's ready to roll," Quinn said. "He had an excellent week and really looked like himself. I was optimistic the whole week to see where he would land, and he really nailed it all week long. He's dying to get going, and we're dying to have him back out there."
The Falcons could certainly use Jones back in the middle of their defense, which has been ravaged by injuries this season. One of the most versatile and instinctive linebackers in the game, Jones should immediately provide a boost for both Atlanta's run and pass defense as well as its on-field communication.
Even better for Atlanta is the fact that Jones isn't expected to have any sort special limitations as it pertains to reps during the game. Jones has been on the practice field with the team in recent weeks, allowing him to get up to game speed.
"It would have probably been harder had he not had any work, and it was, OK, here's one day of practice and then go." Quinn said. "We'll keep a close eye on him, but he really is fit. And that's the part that I can tell how hard he worked from a conditioning standpoint leading up to it. No specialized count as we're heading into the game."