Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, after catching 11 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown against St. Louis in Week 2, expects a lot of attention when he faces the Dolphins at 4:05 p.m. Sunday at Sun Life Stadium.
The Falcons have studied how the Dolphins tried to cover wide receivers A.J. Green of Cincinnati and Larry Fitzgerald of Arizona last season and expect the same double-coverage for Jones.
In a 24-21 loss to Arizona, the Dolphins held Fitzgerald to 64 yards on eight catches and a touchdown. In a 17-13 win over Cincinnati, Green caught nine passes for 65 yards and a touchdown.
“They don’t play match (coverage),” Jones said Thursday. “(Cornerback Brent Grimes) stays to their right, my left. He stays over there.”
With Roddy White slowed by a high ankle sprain, Jones has started the season in a strong fashion. Jones caught seven passes for 76 yards in the opener against New Orleans.
With White slowed, tight end Tony Gonzalez off to a slow start and running back Steven Jackson out, Jones is ready to continue carrying the offense if needed.
“My whole career, I’ve been that No. 1 guy, and we’ve got a lot of No. 1 guys on this team,” Jones said. “Every week, I’ve been saying that your role will change, so you have to always approach it like you’re that No. 1 guy.”
Jones is confident that he’ll be ready if quarterback Matt Ryan needs to lean on him again.
“It depends on the game, and sometimes you have to take what the defense gives you,” Jones said. “Since I’ve been here, I’ve been still playing like I’m going to be that No. 1 guy.
“My teammates put a lot of trust in me in those situations to make plays. It shows that me and Matt have that chemistry, and it continues to keep building and that our timing is great.”
Injury report: White returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday.
White practiced only Friday last week and was limited on the lightest practice day of the week before facing the Rams.
Left tackle Sam Baker (knee and foot injury) and cornerback Asante Samuel (thigh) did not practice.
Linebacker Akeem Dent (shoulder), center Peter Konz (knee), defensive end Cliff Matthews (neck) and Jones (knee) were limited in practice for the second day this week.
Tight end challenge: The Falcons have done a credible job against tight ends to open the season. They held Jimmy Graham of New Orleans to four catches for 45 yards and Jared Cook of St. Louis to one catch for 10 yards.
Miami tight end/H-back Chris Clay is off to a great start. He has 10 catches for 163 yards, including a 67-yard catch against Indianapolis. He also scored a rushing touchdown.
“He’s kind of a jack-of-all-trades for them,” safety Thomas DeCoud said. “He’s a fullback, and sometimes he’s even flexed out. He’s one of those guys that they ask to do a lot of things. He’s really versatile like that.”
The Falcons attacked Graham and Cook in the contact zone and succeeded in changing their routes.
Gonzalez, after missing most of training camp, is off to a slow start. He has seven catches for 69 yards and a touchdown.
The Dolphins have not covered tight ends well. Jordan Cameron of Cleveland caught nine passes for 108 yards and a touchdown, and Coby Fleener of Indianapolis had four catches for 69 yards and a touchdown.
Wallace world: The Dolphins signed former Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace to a five-year, $60 million contract in free agency.
He was a bit grumpy after catching one pass when targeted five times in the opener against Cleveland. The Dolphins targeted him 11 times against the Colts, and he caught nine passes for 115 yards and touchdown.
“Mike Wallace, he’s known for taking the top off of defenses and stretching out coverages, so we always have to keep him in mind,” DeCoud said.
Miami wide receiver Brian Hartline has caught 14 of 22 passes thrown his way, for 182 yards.
Etc.: Ryan ranks second in the league in completion percentage at 71.6 percent. He’s behind Dallas quarterback Tony Romo, who has completed 72.5 percent of his passes. … Ryan’s passer rating of 107.9 ranks fifth in the league.
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