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Julio Jones to make return against Panthers

FLOWERY BRANCH

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Falcons All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones jersey, who missed the past two games with a sprained toe, will play on Saturday against the Carolina Panthers, Falcons coach Dan Quinn said on Thursday.

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‘I thought he looked great,’ Quinn said. ‘The last two days, he’s been building to where he can go and do his thing. The thing we wanted to check was can he cut and do the things he likes to do at full speed.’

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Defensive end Adrian Clayborn (knee surgery) and cornerback Jalen Collins (knee) are also set to return to the action against the Panthers. Tight end Austin Hooper (knee) and linebacker De’Vondre Campbell (concussion) will not play against the Panthers.

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In the previous meeting with the Panthers on Oct. 2, Jones jersey had 12 catches for 300 yards and one touchdown in a 48-33 victory.

Jones jersey leads the league in receiving yards with 1,253 and receptions of 20 yards or more (29). He suffered the injury during a Dec. 4 game against the Chiefs and Quinn held him out against the Rams and 49ers.
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‘It’s about being smart about postseason (with) the time it happened,’ Jones jersey said on Wednesday. ‘If it was earlier on, maybe probably push through and see what happens. But it’s critical right now. One game at a time, but you’ve also got to look at maybe the postseason and you don’t want to do anything to rush back and hurt myself and not be out there for my brothers.’

Jones jersey said he felt some frustration about not being able to play . Quinn said Jones jersey tested the injury before each of the two games he missed and was itching to be in uniform before Quinn decided he should sit.

‘You’ve got to be smart,” Jones jersey said. ‘You can’t do anything dumb to set yourself back and also hurt the team. We took precautionary (measures) to sit me out for those days to heal up like I need to heal up. I’m back.’

Jones jersey had seven catches for 113 yards against the while playing only 64 percent of the offensive snaps because he periodically took himself out of the game.

Before this season, Jones jersey last missed a game because of injury in Week 15 of the 2014 season. Playing 15 games that year represented a return to good health for Jones jersey after he missed 11 games in 2013 after aggravating his surgically-repaired right foot and having a second procedure.

Jones jersey said he won’t return to the field this season until he’s confident he can play at his usual level.

‘Nothing needs to hold me back, or I feel like I can’t do it,’ Jones jersey said. ‘If I can’t be me, or do me, ‘D.Q.’ is not going to let me go . He wants me to be 100 percent and moving around and doing the things I do.’

Getting Clayborn back should add some spice to the Falcons’ pass rush.

He suffered a knee injury in the Falcons’ win over the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 27 and required surgery.

Clayborn, a sixth-year defensive end out of Iowa, has 29 total tackles, 4.5 sacks and one fumble recovery so far this season.

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