FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – We now know the soonest Deion Jones can be back out on the field in a Falcons uniform: Nov. 18, a home game against the Dallas Cowboys.
There was some confusion as to when Jones could return from the injured reserve list. The Pro Bowl linebacker was placed on IR Tuesday afternoon after suffering a foot injury in the Falcons' 18-12 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1. Most assumed that Jones would miss eight games.
But thanks to Brian Cearns, the Falcons senior director of football communications, the actual timetable for Jones' return from IR has been clarified. Cearns tweeted the actual NFL policy on Wednesday morning. In short, a player must sit out six weeks before they can practice but they still have to miss eight games from the date they are placed on IR – and bye weeks do not count as games in this case. Here's the tweet from Cearns below:
Falcons coach Dan Quinn also discussed the timetable for Jones' potential return during his weekly radio appearance on 92.9 The Game Wednesday morning.
"A player, when they go [on IR], if they do have the opportunity to return it has to be where they're out for those eight games," Quinn told "The Morning Show with John and Hugh." "So that doesn't include the bye week, it has to include the games. We don't know the exact timeline of that, he just had the procedure done. Now that we're getting the information the main thing for now is getting him healthy and getting him rolling. We would not put him back out there before he was ever ready."