The only thing that could stop Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones on Monday night was Julio Jones’s hip.
Jones set a franchise record with 259 receiving yards a week after lighting up the Cardinals in an Atlanta victory. Jones also became the Falcons’ all-time leader in receiving yards with 1,428 for the season, but missed the tail end of the game after suffering a hip injury.
“It was very tough,” Jones said, via ESPN.com. “Last year, I missed the majority of the season with a broken foot. And that came back into my mind when I wasn’t able to go back out there with my teammates and fight with them at the end of the game. I’ll be OK. I just have to get treatment this week, and we’ll go from there.”
His absence may not have swung the final result as the Falcons scored on a touchdown pass to Harry Douglas to move within six once Jones was out of the game. The Falcons know their playoff hopes will rely on wins in Weeks 16 and 17 against the Saints and Panthers, so pushing Jones back into the game and risking further injury would have been disastrous to those hopes if Jones wound up with further injury.
Given what Jones has been up to the last two weeks, the Steelers will be paying close attention to injury reports out of Atlanta this week since their own playoff hopes will be impacted by Jones’s status.