WR Julio Jones - Atlanta Falcons
|6-2, 220||Born: 2-3-1989||College: Alabama||Drafted: Round 1, pick 6|
News you need to know
From Mark Wimer's Monday injury report (Mon Jan 23): Though he was not listed on the Friday injury report for the Conference Championship games, Jones is fighting through multiple ligament injuries in his foot, with two toe ligaments and one foot ligament not 100% healthy. Despite his painful injuries, Jones caught nine passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns Sunday, January 22, during the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers. He'll have two weeks to get healed up before the Super Bowl game against the Patriots.
General News (Fri Feb 3): partially participated in Friday's practice but is not on the team's injury report. He will play this week.
General News (Thu Feb 2): said he's flying around and is a full go at practice Thursday, Feb. 2. Jones was listed as limited in practice Wednesday, Feb. 1.
General News (Wed Feb 1): partially participated in Wednesday's practice. Jones said he's ready to go and doesn't expect his foot injuries to limit him in the Super Bowl.
General News (Tue Jan 31): averaged more than 100 receiving yards per game in 2016, and he is he first player in NFL history to average more than 100 receiving yards per game in four different seasons.
Week 21: vs New England Patriots
Detailed matchup analysis coming soon.
Recent Stats and Projections
Recent Game Summaries
2016 Week 20 vs GB (12 / 9 / 180 / 2 rec)
Jones was targeted on two high throws near the boundary during the first quarter and only one of them did he have a chance to corral and failed. As the half progressed, the Jones-Ryan pairing heated up with slants and runs after the catch. Jones also had a difficult catch where he was undercut during the catch and landed on his head. It didn't stop him from earning a pair of touchdowns in the second and third quarters. Jones has been dealing with a foot injury much of the year, but on Sunday he ran through defenders as often as he ran away from them.
2016 Week 19 vs SEA (8 / 6 / 67 / 1 rec)
The Falcons All-Pro receiver benefitted from stacked formations during the first half of the game, forcing All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman to play off coverage. This gave Matt Ryan room to hit Jones on short passes and Jones room to earn yards after the catch. Jones caught a 3rd and 7, making a nice turn outside to earn the extra few yards for the first down and bounced off a hit to do so. Two plays later, he earned first down on a sideline hitch against Richard Sherman with an excellent break to get Atlanta to Seattlefs 40. This was Jones best play against Sherman when the corner played tight. The off coverage continued with Ryan hitting Jones on a rub route with Mohamed Sanu working a slant under Richard Sherman in off coverage from about seven yards for an easy uncovered touchdown catch to tie the game. Another quick hitch against Sherman in off coverage earned jones 8 yards after Seattle pinned Atlanta inside the 1. Jones then made a sliding catch on the slant and returned to his feet for a run outside for a first down inside the Seahawk 20 late in the half when Atlanta went up-tempo. Ryan hit Jones on a cross on 3rd and 8 to begin the first drive of the second half on a cross from a bunch formation to get the first down. Jones left the game for a while not long after this catch, limping to the sideline with an aggravation to his foot injury. When he returned, he was not as effective, but it was hard to tell whether it was the foot, Atlanta letting Sherman cover him tight, or both. Jones dropped a play action hitch against Sherman in tight coverage, the first tight coverage play of the game with 3:00 in the third quarter. Jones then dropped a short slant against Sherman in tight coverage early in the fourth quarter on 2nd and 10. He was pulled from the game soon after because Atlanta had built a commanding lead.
2016 Week 17 vs NO (9 / 7 / 96 / 1 rec)
He got open down the middle late in the first quarter but the safety interfered with the receiver. He followed up with 21 yards on a crossing route late in the first quarter, showing off good speed and strength at the finishing collision to earn extra yards to the Saints' three. Atlanta followed two plays later with a corner fade to a wide open Jones for the score. Jones' best gain was a leaping grab at the right hash on a 23-yard dig route inside the teeth of the Saints' zone. He gained 15 yards over the middle during the third quarter on a scramble drill with Ryan in his own end zone. Ryan followed up with a deep cross to Jones near midfield in a wide-open space off play action.
2016 Week 16 vs CAR (7 / 4 / 60 / 0 rec)
He led off the game with a quick slant against tight coverage and a nice release that showed he could make a cut on that foot. He left the field with a slight limp at the end of the second drive but returned to earn a target on a sail route, but a defender held Jones' leg during his release on a 1st and 10 play action pass to begin the third drive. Jones hopped a bit off the field with 13:00 in the second quarter and was not on the field for 3rd and 2 and Ryan got sacked on a blitz with Jones out. The receiver was covered step for step and pinned up the right sideline on 2nd and 10 with 10:30 in the half and forced a throw out of bounds. Jones earned his third catch on a deep slant on a diving grab of a low throw. Jones got 11 yards on a 3rd and 1 pass on a stick route from the slot in the third quarter against a zone defense. Jones had a deep cross raked by the trailng CB to begin the fourth quarter.
2016 Week 13 vs KC (9 / 7 / 113 / 0 rec)
Jones caught a pair of quick slants and a crossing route to get Atlanta to midfield to start the game. He also had a crossing route to get Atlanta to the 12 after the Falcons nearly blew its red zone opportunity with a holding penalty. He later drew a defensive pass interference foul on Eric Berry on a deep cross on the second play of the second series, getting Atlanta to the Chiefs' 25 in short order. One of the best plays for the Falcons was a 3rd and 7 conversion of a corner route with a shake to the inside for 21 yards. During the third quarter, Jones, made a diving grab on a 1st and 15 route late in the third quarter to get Atlanta past midfield. Although a productive day, Jones and the Falcons had a difficult time cashing in. Jones missed most of the fourth quarter with an injury to his left foot. He was limping and clearly feeling discomfort on the sideline despite not getting any treatment from the staff. He only returned on a 3rd and 1 play as a decoy that helped Matt Ryan find Levine Toilolo on a 42-yard play action throwback, setting up the short-lived, go-ahead touchdowns.
2016 Week 12 vs ARI (7 / 4 / 35 / 0 rec)
Jones gained six yards on Patrick Peterson during a quick dig on the first drive. He was also targeted deep on a 1st and 10 in Cardinals territory, but Peterson countered Jones' swim move off the line and forced the receiver tight to the boundary. Jones ran an outside-in pivot from a bunch trips left set on 3rd and goal from the Cardinals two and the officials assessed a defensive pass interference on Peterson who didn't hook or hold the receiver. It was good coverage, but it gave Atlanta new life and set up a touchdown run to end the first drive. A fairer interference call on Peterson came during the next series on a slant intended for Jones, nullifying an interception. Jones earned yards on a stop route in the second quarter and then another pivot route against Peterson. Jones then juggled a slant route, losing control, and giving the target to Swearinger for the interception. His best route of the day was a deep out on play action for a first down, making a move inside to fake the dig before breaking outside for 15 yards. Jones nearly lost a dig to Swearinger , who cut off the route and dropped an interception in the middle of the third quarter. Later in the series, Patrick Peterson hurt his ankle/foot on pass to Levine Toilolo that he was running down and was clearly hampered for the rest of the game. By that time, Atlanta was well enough ahead that Jones was not a primary target.
2016 Week 10 vs PHI (16 / 10 / 135 / 0 rec)
He faced rookie Jalen Mills for much of the day, even before Nolan Carroll suffered a concussion and missed the second half. Jones caught a mix of slants, go routes, deep crossing routes, and a fade. Jones routinely got a step on Mills and had two deep targets overthrown that could have gone for huge gains. When safety Malcolm Jenkins covered Jones, the receiver had more difficulty getting open. Jones also had an uncharacteristic drop late in this game on a wide open corner route that gave the Eagles another late-game drive to extend the lead beyond Atlanta's reach. The game ended with Jones running a hitch and not anticipating Matt Ryan to target him. When Ryan did, Jones was late to work back to the ball and Leodis McKelvin undercut the target for the game-sealing interception.
2016 Week 9 vs TB (11 / 8 / 111 / 1 rec)
Jones didn't earn a target until the middle of the second quarter. Once he got going, he got hot. His first target came on a dig route from Atlanta's own three during the fourth series of the game for a 22-yard gain. With less than two minutes in the half, Jones caught a short stick route for about 10 yards and then a slant route for nearly 20 on back-to-back targets. In the third quarter, he caught a curl thrown low against tight coverage but Tampa challenged it when the ball appeared to hit the ground as Jones reached the ground and the play was reversed. Ryan went right back to Jones on a dig for more yards on the next play. He caught three straight passes on the first drive of the third quarter. On the third pass, he broke a tackle on an in-cut to get inside the Tampa 20. His touchdown was well-thrown and beautifully caught high-point target on a fade against rookie Vernon Hargreaves. Jones not earning early targets only to heat up later in the game has been a pattern this year.
2016 Week 8 vs GB (5 / 3 / 29 / 0 rec)
The Falcons' leading receiver caught a crossing route from an empty set as the slot man for a first down to begin the second series. On the next play he caught another crossing route, ducking under the wrap of the linebacker two yards past the line of scrimmage and worked up the middle for a first down. In the third series, his opponent Ladarius Gunter was called for a defensive pass interference penalty (a poor call) on a corner route and it put Atlanta beyond midfield early in the second quarter. Jones made a third down catch against Gunter on another short crossing route that led to a second field goal attempt of the half. Early in the third quarter, Ryan tried to split a tight seam on a Jones double move. The ball was thrown behind Jones and despite the receiver getting his hands on the target, hits from two defenders forced the drop and the collision bent Jones' knee awkwardly. Jones was clearly banged up on the play and left for the sideline. He walked gingerly around the sideline before the training staff led him to the table behind the sideline and checked out his leg. Although Jones returned for the next series, he did not see a target until late in the game, dropping a slant in tight coverage inside the Packers 10 with 1:20 left. Monitor him early this week.
2016 Week 7 vs SD (15 / 9 / 174 / 0 rec)
Jones made the first man miss on a short curl-in at the right flat to earn the first down on the second play of the game. He then got away with a drop on a third-down throw with Casey Hayward in coverage that was described in the Matt Ryan section. Jones caught multiple curl-in and dig routes in the open zones of the Chargers' defense, sometimes even in tighter zones between two defenders. He had 107 yards at the half. Late in the game Jones made difficult catches, including a leaping play between two defenders on a dig-route to get inside the Chargers' 40 with 0:01 left, setting up a 58-yard try that bounced off the left (and no-good) upright to send the game to overtime. Justin Hardy: Hardy gained two yards on a short route where he broke back to the ball during the first drive of the game. He also caught a slant for a first down in overtime, which was a tough cach in tight coverage. He is not earning enough targets for anyone to consider him a fantasy factor. .
2016 Week 6 vs SEA (9 / 7 / 139 / 1 rec)
Richard Sherman covered Jones to begin the game. He jammed Jones on a third down inside the 15 of Atlanta and forced a Cliff Avril strip-sack of Matt Ryan. The next play, Christine Michael scored. Despite Ryan getting hit often, the quarterback found ways to deliver a catchable ball to Jones on some plays of higher difficulty, including a play action comeback to the opposite sideline late in the half, a slant to get Jones inside the Seattle 15, and a deep dig with less than 30 seconds left. However, the dig was nullified due to a Levine Toilolo holding penalty. The Ryan-Jones tandem came alive in the second half with a series if dig routes behind the Seattle linebackers and under its safeties. Jones then got an easy score of 36 yards when Richard Sherman was assigned to the tight end split as part of a twin left set with Jones and Jones drew a confused safety who thought he had help behind him. Jones also had a 24-yard catch against Sherman on a deep out. Late in the game, Jones was targeted a little too wide for his reach on a slant. The ball went through his hands, off Richard Sherman's hands, and into Era Thomas. The safety returned the ball across midfield and it led to the game-winning field goal. Sherman had one last chance on a post route up the left hash but the officials ruled the target incomplete and missed an obvious pass interference foul on Sherman.
2016 Week 5 vs DEN (6 / 2 / 29 / 0 rec)
The Falcons primary wide out caught a 3rd and 8 crossing route, but he pushed off cornerback Chris Harris at the top of his stem and was called for the offensive pass interference penalty, forcing a 3rd and 18. Ryan later missed Jones on a deep cross from a seven-step drop in the early second quarter. Ryan then overthrew Jones on a wide-open fade up the right sideline two plays later on 3rd and 10. Jones' first catch was a short slant for 9 yards on Atlanta's first drive of the second half. He also found Jones near the Denver 20 on a 1st and 10 pass where Jones made a scramble drill adjustment and the result was a gain of 20 yards midway through the third quarter. Jones later dropped an intermediate cross when hit in the hip by safety Darian Stewart.
2016 Week 4 vs CAR (15 / 12 / 300 / 1 rec)
The Falcons' top receiver had a career-game with 300 yards on 12 catches. He opened with a 21-yard gain on a max protection, play-action curl route to the opposite side of the field, earning 9 after the catch. Matt Ryan found Jones on a slant on the next play for 14 more and then a third slant on the drive where the cornerback knocked Jones to the ground but the receiver got up fast and still made the catch for a gain of 16. After earning 51 yards on that first drive, he got a clean release on a 44-yard fade route where the cornerback Daryl Worley expected help over top from the safety and didn't receive it. Ryan later underthrew Jones on a go route, forcing the wide open Jones to slow down and give the trailing cornerback Berne Benwikere a chance to catch up and defend the pass. Two plays later, Ryan found Jones again against Benwikere for 53 yards on 3rd and 17. From that point on, the Falcons and Jones abused Benwikere, who tried and failed to press Jones. Atlanta's top receiver put on a clinic with how to release from the line of scrimmage against press, including a slant for a 75-yard gain in the fourth quarter where Jones worked across the width of the field and up the sideline to beat multiple defenders with his speed.
2016 Week 3 vs NO (7 / 1 / 16 / 0 rec)
His first target was a corner fade in the end zone late in the half that he caught but couldn't keep both feet inbounds. Jones' first catch was a dig route with six in the third quarter to reach the Saints' 20 for a 16-yard gain. The Falcons' running backs accounted for 71 percent of Atlanta's net offensive yards and it was easy pickings without Jones.
2016 Week 2 vs OAK (5 / 5 / 106 / 1 rec)
The Raiders double covered Jones early in this game and it appeared after the first three drives that Jones wouldn't be an active part of the passing game. Things turned around fast when the Raiders let cornerback Sean Smith handle the Falcons' primary option one-on-one. Smith was so cautious about stopping Jones from winning the sideline that gave up too many plays to the inside. Ryan found Jones for a 21-yard score when allowed the inside on a slant to end the Falcons' fourth offensive series. He also beat Smith on a second slant for nine yards in the fourth quarter. Late, Smith gave up the inside on a deep cross and if it wasn't for Reggie Nelson recognizing at the last moment that Smith made a mental error, it's possible Jones catches the cross uncontested and scores. Instead, Nelson made the play on Jones and limited--yes, limited--Jones to a 48-yard completion. This put Atlanta in the red zone and set up the go-ahead score in a 21-21 game. Jones missed Atlanta's final drive with the Falcons up by 7 with a few minutes left and the Raiders still owning three time outs. He aggravated his ankle injury before the drive. Monitor this situation.
2016 Week 1 vs TB (8 / 4 / 66 / 1 rec)
His biggest play was a crossing route against a busted coverage that resulted in a catch and run for a touchdown up the right flat that cut the Tampa Bay lead to 10 points. Jones dropped a deep cross that hit him perfectly in the hands on a pass from the 40 after getting hit in the back. He was slow to get up and limped off the field after his left ankle got rolled up after he dropped the ball. Jones couldn't hang onto the crossing route that was thrown hard and behind him due to pressure on Ryan. He played the remainder of the game but was clearly hobbled.
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