Falcons Pro Bowl linebacker Deion Jones, who suffered a broken foot in the season opener Sept. 6, was declared out for Sunday’s game against the Cowboys by coach Dan Quinn on Friday.
Kicker Matt Bryant will return to action.
“(Jones) is close, but he’s not there yet,” Quinn said. “Matt Bryant is ready to roll.”
The Falcons’ defense, which has been ravaged by injuries this season, could have received a major boost from the return of Jones, who was activated from injured reserve Monday.
Bryant fully participated in practice Thursday for the first time since suffering a strained right hamstring, according to the team’s official injury report.
Bryant has been out since making a 56-yard field goal against the Buccaneers on Oct. 14.
Giorgio Tavecchio has handled place-kicking duties in the past three games and has made 5 of 5 field-goal attempts and 8 of 8 extra-point attempts. His longest field goal was a 56-yarder.
Linebacker Foye Oluokun (elbow), linebacker De’Vondre Campbell (calf), linebacker Bruce Carter (knee), free safety Damontae Kazee (shoulder), wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (hip) and defensive end Derrick Shelby (groin) were other players listed on the injury report this week.
The Falcons wanted to monitor Jones’ progress in practice this week.
“I just want to make sure that he’s fully ready,” Quinn said. “He’s close. We were able to give him more reps as the week went on. We want him to be fully him.”
Jones worked on his agility and conditioning off to the side with the trainers for the previous two weeks. Jones has missed eight games, and per the new rule that was adopted at the NFL’s 2018 annual meeting Jones was placed on injured reserve with a designation to return.
Jones has been attending meetings and walk-throughs. He’s been sharing information from his film-review sessions.
Jones has recorded 253 tackles, 23 pass defenses, seven interceptions and two touchdowns since he was drafted in the second round of the 2016 draft. He was named to his first Pro Bowl in 2017 as an alternate.
Jones could have helped the defense rebound from giving up 211 yards rushing in a 28-16 loss to the Browns on Sunday.
With Jones out, along with strong safety Keanu Neal (knee) and free safety Ricardo Allen (Achilles), the Falcons defense has struggled this season.
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