Terrible, terrible news, Julio Jones owners (USAT Images)
Atlanta sports fans, these last few days have been pretty rough. There's just no good way to deliver this latest news, so I'm gonna briefly hand it over to Jay Glazer, the man who first reported this awful story...
Breaking: Falcons fear Julio Jones likely OUT for the rest of the year w a foot injury. He's getting a second opinion tomorrow to determine
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) October 8, 2013
Brutal. The worst.
Glazer's initial report was immediately followed by confirmation from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Such a mess.
The Falcons are a 1-4 team with ridiculous injury issues, but it's still kinda tough to imagine this squad — a veteran group, nine months removed from the NFC title game — folding the tents, giving up on 2013. Cleveland receiver Josh Gordon is on the trade block, after all; he's certainly capable of delivering a decent Julio impression. (Which is not to say he can make catches like this one, but he's a terrific deep threat.)
A season-ending injury to Jones would be, without question, a crushing blow to Matt Ryan's rest-of-season fantasy value. You'd have to downgrade him to Cutler territory. Start thinking of Ryan as a match-up play, a platoon QB for fantasy purposes. Nothing more.
This injury should lead to an uptick in targets for Roddy White, assuming he can recover from his various ailments (ankle, hamstring). Harry Douglas gets a bump, too. But if the Falcons thought Douglas was anywhere near Jones in terms of talent, they would have never given up five draft picks for Julio. The outlook for this offense as a whole took a huge hit on Tuesday — a huge, season-changing hit. Even with Steven Jackson returning soon (we think) from his hamstring problems, it will be no easy feat for this team to put itself back in the postseason conversation. Atlanta probably has to consider flipping Tony Gonzalez, no?
There are loads of difficult questions facing the Falcons right now, and zero easy answers. Sorry, Julio owners. Sorry, Atlanta friends.
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- Julio Jones
- Jay Glazer