FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who’s been battling a right hamstring injury, will return to practice Thursday, according to coach Mike Smith.
“We anticipate him being out on the practice field tomorrow, “ Smith said. “It will be encouraging to see him out practicing and not out working out with our athletic performance department. He’s done a nice job in his rehabilitation. So, tomorrow we’ll give him an opportunity. If it goes well, we’ll progress to Friday and give him back-to-back days of work.”
Jones injured his left hamstring against Green Bay on Oct. 9. He missed the Carolina and Detroit games. He came back against Indianapolis on Nov. 6 and caught three passes for 131 yards and scored two touchdowns. He left the New Orleans game with an injured right hamstring. He didn’t play last week against Tennessee
Jones has 30 catches for 498 yards and two touchdowns.
The Falcons traded away five draft picks to move up 21 spots in the first round to select Jones with the sixth pick overall. He’s played in seven games, missed three games and major parts of two other games
Jones, cornerback Kelvin Hayden (toe) and cornerback Brent Grimes (knee), defensive end John Abraham (rest), tight end Tony Gonzalez (rest) and center Todd McClure (rest) didn’t practice on Wednesday.
Left tackle Sam Baker (back), left guard Justin Blalock (ankle), middle linebacker Curtis Lofton (ankle), safety William Moore (quadricep) and defensive tackle Corey Peters (knee) were limited in practice on Wednesday.
It was the first day back at practice for Moore, who missed the last two games.
“We are trying to see where William is,” Smith said. “We gave him some limited reps today. When he first was injured, we thought it would be in the three-to-four week time frame of getting him back. This Sunday will be three weeks.”
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog