Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Julio Jones is running, ahead of schedule

Falcons coach Mike Smith said wide receiver Julio Jones is running and is ahead of schedule at the owner's meeting in Orlando today, the team said.

"He's doing a great job with (trainers) Marty (Lauzon) and AJ (Neibel)," Falcons coach Mike Smith told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution by phone on Wednesday. "He's continuing to progress."

What's his timetable for a full return?

"That's a decision that's going to be made by the doctors who did the procedure on his return to play," Smith said. "I know that he'll get out there as soon as the doctors give him the OK. But he's progressing very well through his rehab. The return to play is strictly going to be a decision that's going to be made by the medical staff. I fully anticipate that long-term he's going to be ready to go."

Jones, who had foot surgery in October, has been off crutches since December.

Also, defensive end/linebacker Kroy Biermann, who suffered a torn Achilles tendon, is also ahead of schedule.

"Kroy has started his on the field work," Smith said. "We're excited about his progress to this point. I don't know if there's anybody that's worked harder than both of those guys. Mid-season and this offseason. Kroy and Julio have an opportunity to work during the season. They've been doing well. Kroy has been running on the field. When I say running, I mean he's working on the field. So that's a positive."

(We'll have a full medical update from Coach Smith up later on

Here 's some of the story from Tuesday Oct. 8 after Jones suffered the original injury:

FLOWERY BRANCH -- The Falcons’ Julio Jones, the team’s most consistent deep threat who has been developing into one of the best receivers in the NFL, has a right foot injury that may end his season, team officials have told AJC Falcons writer D. Orlando Ledbetter.

Jones will be evaluated Wednesday with the hope that the diagnosis will be more optimistic.

“Julio injured his foot last night,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said on Monday. “He saw our doctors this morning. He is going to have a second opinion over in Charlotte tomorrow. The first reports were not encouraging. But we will wait to see what the second opinion comes back as.”

Although the original diagnosis was bleak, Smith was not ready to rule Jones out for the season.

“It would be premature at this point in time, yes it would,” Smith said. “Again, he’s going over to Charlotte for a second opinion tomorrow and when we have something more definitive, you guys will be the first to know.”

The injury is on the same foot that Jones injured at the NFL combine and had surgery on by Dr. Robert Anderson.

“Again, he injured his foot in the ball game last night and was able to complete the game,” Smith said.

“He had a test this morning and is going for a second opinion. But the first diagnosis was not very encouraging.”


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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.