Falcons fans know the impact wide receiver Julio Jones has on the football field, highlighted by his team-leading 67 receptions for 912 yards in 2014. Despite missing his second-straight practice due to an illness Thursday, Falcons head coach Mike Smith said Jones is expected to play Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.
Ideally, practices are most beneficial in terms of giving players necessary reps to improve timing, accuracy and the physical workout of running the designed plays for the upcoming game. Smith is beyond confident that illness won't prevent Jones from preparing for the game, already having a firm grasp on the team's game plan.
During his current 10-year career, Falcons wide receiver Roddy White knows something about preparing for games while injured or ill. He expects that his fellow wide receiver is making the most of his sick days to be more than ready for whatever Cleveland's defenders throws his way.
"(He'll improve) just mentally," White said of Jones. "Going into the film room and studying coverages and figuring out what they're doing on first down, second down, third down and things like that. Julio is going to do a good job of that. He'll know the game plan and then we'll go from there. The more mental reps you can get and the more film you can watch, then we won't get too many surprises."