NFC Notes: Julio Jones, Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers


Buccaneers HC Todd Bowles was asked about the decision to hold veteran WR Julio Jones out with a knee injury last week. 

“I didn’t say he was healthy, I said he could have played last week but we wanted him to get healthier. So, he could possibly still play this week. He did some limited things in practice and looked good. With Julio, it’s all about how he feels the next two days as to whether he’s going to play on Sunday. Sometimes he has setbacks and sometimes he doesn’t. So, we’ll wait until Sunday to make that decision to be sure,” Bowles said.

Bowles was asked if Jones would be on a ‘pitch count’ if he is cleared to play this weekend. 

“With the depth, obviously he wouldn’t play every snap but we’ll try to get him in and out and do some things, and see how he’s feeling on Sunday. Depending on how he’s feeling if he plays, that will depend on how much he will play,” Bowles said.


Falcons HC Arthur Smith is concerned about how the team will stop the Cleveland Browns running game, spearheaded by RB Nick Chubb. Other players including LB Rashaan Evans, DT Grady Jarrett, and LB Mykal Walker also commented on the upcoming matchup.

“It was good for us to break through, but that’s over. We’ve got a unique challenge coming in here Sunday,” Smith said, via Josh Kendall of The Athletic. “At the end of the day, the one stat that matters is wins and losses in this league. Philosophically, they are coming to mash you. It’s a really good offensive line. They do a really good job, throw a lot of things at you, shifts, motions, and they are going to try to grind you down. We have to be ready to go, especially in the run defense. We have to be able to tackle. Arm tackles are not going to bring (Nick) Chubb down.”

“His numbers show on film,” Evans said of Chubb. “I have had the pleasure of being able to play him a couple of times, and he’s every bit of what they say he is.”

“We need to do better across the board against the run,” Jarrett added.

“The game will 100 percent be about the mentality of the Atlanta defense,” Walker said. “When you watch football, these are the games you talk about. This is a ‘bring the wood’ game. We know what this is. They want to run downhill. We want to run downhill. You have to have that mindset. Anytime you wake up in the morning and decide to run into people, you have to have that mindset. This is our type of game.”


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