Julio Jones on injuries: You just have to block them out and “go”

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Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday. He vows to play Saturday despite an ankle injury that kept him out of practice Tuesday and Wednesday.

“The thing with being injured is really just blocking it out,” Jones said, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN. “Don’t use it as an excuse. If you say you’re going to go, go. Don’t bring it up in the middle of the game like, ‘Oh, this hurt.’ Like, we know that. . . . So don’t let your mind be negative. Just stay positive. If something’s hurting or anything like that, I never relate back to it like, ‘Oh, it’s. . .’ Well, I know it hurts. You don’t want to talk about it and bring that stuff up during the game.

“If I suit up, I’m going. I’m not saying anything about it. It is what it is. I’m out there.”

Jones played all 16 games and caught 88 passes for 1,444 yards and three touchdowns despite ankle, thumb, hip flexor, rib and back injuries. He had only four 100-yard games and his touchdown last week against the Rams was his first time in the end zone since November 26 when he scored twice against the Bucs.

Jones, who caught nine passes for 94 yards and a touchdown against the Rams, is a gamer. His average of 104.7 receiving yards in seven postseason games is the highest average in NFL playoff history (with a minimum of five games), according to ESPN Stats & Information.