Julio Jones out for season
ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen first reported that Jones would miss the rest of the season. Jones will have surgery on Monday, the team announced on Twitter.
RT @FalconsJAdams: Head coach Mike Smith says Julio Jones will have a season-ending procedure on Monday.— Atlanta_Falcons (@Atlanta_Falcons) October 9, 2013
A CT scan showed that Jones, who had a fracture in his foot after the 2011 NFL scouting combine, suffered a fracture in the same location, sources told Mortensen.
"Unfortunately, Julio's appointment with the doctor today confirmed our initial findings," Falcons coach Mike Smith said in a statement. "He is scheduled to have a season-ending procedure on Monday."
Jones went to Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday afternoon to get a second opinion from noted foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson. Jones was injured during Monday night's 30-28 loss to the New York Jets, although he remained in the game despite the injury.
Smith said initial reports on Jones' status were not encouraging after the receiver was examined by team physicians Tuesday morning. A fracture was discovered in the same foot during the 2011 NFL combine following his final year at Alabama. The Falcons traded five draft picks to select Jones sixth overall.
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The team moved quickly to bolster its wide receiver corps, signing veteran Brian Robiskie, the son of Falcons wide receiver coach Terry Robiskie, to a one-year deal, multiple league sources told ESPN.
The 6-foot-4, 212-pound Robiskie has the type of size to fill the role of a big receiver. He was a second-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2009 following a stellar career at Ohio State. He started 14 games in three seasons with the Browns.
Jones currently leads the Falcons (1-4) with 41 catches for 580 yards and two touchdowns.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Jones is the team's top vertical threat, meaning the Falcons might have to alter their offensive game plan moving forward.
"It's tough to replicate what he can do," quarterback Matt Ryan said. "Certainly one of the most gifted receivers in the NFL. That makes it difficult to replace that. But we have other guys that need to step up and, I think, will step up for us."
Ryan spoke to Jones on Wednesday inside the team facility before the receiver left for Charlotte.
"In those situations, we all have kind of been there before," Ryan said. "It's part of playing in this league. It's a tough, physical game. He's got a great mindset about it, though. He really does. He's positive. He's upbeat."
Jones became the ninth Falcons player placed on injured reserve.
Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who also suffered a foot injury, was placed on short-term IR with a designation to return in Week 11. Only one player is allowed to go on short-term IR per season.
Starting receiver Roddy White is hobbled with a hamstring injury and a nagging ankle problem, meaning his status is unclear. If the Falcons have to go without both Jones and White, tight end Tony Gonzalez becomes Ryan's primary target with Harry Douglas, Drew Davis and Kevin Cone as the complementary receivers.
Rookie tight end Levine Toilolo also could have a more important role in the offense.
Douglas discussed being short-handed at receiver.
"Pretty much they built the roster for us to, if somebody goes down, someone else can step up and make plays," Douglas said. "It's football. What we've got to do, we can't go out and try to be heroes and be Superman. We've just got to stick to what we do and what we do best."
The Falcons might have to run the ball more, but that could be an obstacle as well. Running back Steven Jackson still has not returned from a hamstring injury he suffered in Week 2.
Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter was used in this report.
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