Throughout practices during the first two weeks of the NFL season, Julio Jones was listed as a limited participant due to a hamstring injury. He showed no signs of discomfort in Week 1, however, turning in a league-leading 157-yard performance. That changed in Week 2, when Jones looked noticeably bothered by the injury.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn stated Wednesday that Jones further strained his hamstring during Atlanta's loss in Dallas and that the team would monitor his progress throughout the week in practice.
"He definitely strained it in the game from where he felt from Wednesday and Thursday and Friday of doing reps and going through it," Quinn said. "We'll take it all the way through [the week]. This is a guy who really understands his body and knows how to work through it. In his defense, he was certainly ready to go and battle for it all the way through."
Although Jones finished the game with just two catches for 24 yards, including a timely fourth-down conversion, Quinn commended the receiver's ability to draw double coverage and attention from the Cowboys defense. That extra attention on Jones helped Calvin Ridley catch seven passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
After the game, Jones was asked about his hamstring and downplayed the seriousness of the injury, saying "It's nothing I can't handle."
The Falcons will face the Chicago Bears at home in Week 3. The Bears currently have the No. 19 pass defense in the league, allowing 254 yards per game through the air. Atlanta boasts the second-most-productive passing attack in the NFL, averaging 350.5 yards. Jones is a big part of Atlanta's game plan each week, and while Ridley's emergence is a major positive, Matt Ryan would benefit from having his top option on the field Sunday.
Atlanta's first injury report of the week, which will be released Wednesday afternoon, will provide additional information on how the Falcons are approaching his recovery and preparation.