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Falcons WR Julio Jones is now ‘running routes full speed’

Julio Jones, Falcons

Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones is back at full strength. Jones played in all 16 games last season, but various injuries hampered him for a lot of the year. He was dealing with a foot problem, as well as hip and rib issues, down the stretch last year which limited him.

Jones sat out most of the team’s offseason program as he dealt with a new foot injury, but is now “back to running routes full speed,” according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“It feels great, being back out there running around, running routes,” Jones said. “It’s football. I’ve been doing it for so long. I just love to be back out there just running around catching the ball and having fun.”

The Falcons’ offense became a juggernaut under Kyle Shanahan, but it’s fallen off a bit since Shanahan left for the 49ers. Matt Ryan is looking to get back to his MVP level, and he’s clearly looking forward to another year of his partnership with Jones.

“(The) connection is good,” Ryan said. “It’s been good for him to get himself back to the point where he can run. It’s been a lot of hard work. He’s put in a lot of hard to get to this point. He looked great. He’ll continue to feel better. You can ask him about it, but I’m sure it’s going to continue to get better as we go.”

This is a pivotal year for the Falcons, and Dan Quinn will be on the hot seat if they don’t improve on last year’s results. If they’re going to get back to the Super Bowl, Jones is going to have to be a huge part of that. If he can put up 1,677 yards while banged up like he did last year, it’s scary to think what he might do when fully healthy.