NFL notes: Falcons Julio Jones could be out

Atlanta’s Julio Jones (11) had eight catches for 99 yards against the Jets on Monday night, but also hurt his foot.
erik s. lesser/epa
Atlanta’s Julio Jones (11) had eight catches for 99 yards against the Jets on Monday night, but also hurt his foot.

Falcons coach Mike Smith sounded dismayed while discussing his team’s latest major injury.

This time the bad news concerned Pro Bowl receiver Julio Jones, who could miss the rest of the season after injuring his foot in Monday’s 30-28 home loss to the Jets.

‘‘He saw our doctors this morning. He is going to have a second opinion tomorrow,’’ Smith said. ‘‘The first reports were not encouraging, but we will wait and see what the second opinion comes back as.’’


Jones, the No. 6 overall draft pick of 2011, leads the NFL with 41 catches and ranks second with 580 yards receiving.

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Smith said that Jones will see a foot specialist Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C., for a second opinion. The coach refused to say which foot Jones hurt.

Jones, who had eight catches for 99 yards Monday, was X-rayed after the game, and results were negative, but a CAT scan Tuesday showed something more serious.

Without Jones, Roddy White, and Steven Jackson, quarterback Matt Ryan has but one healthy playmaker, tight end Tony Gonzalez, and he’s playing in his final season.

Atlanta (1-4) heads into its bye week riding a three-game losing streak.


After five relatively healthy seasons under Smith, Atlanta has been bombarded with injuries. Fullback Jason Snelling, who caught a second-quarter TD pass, suffered a concussion and came out and White, a four-time Pro Bowl receiver who has played since preseason with an ankle sprain, left after tweaking a hamstring.

Ryan completed 36 of 45 passes for 319 yards Monday night, while Gonzalez hauled in 10 receptions for 97 yards and became just the second player in NFL history to catch a pass in 200 consecutive games, trailing only Jerry Rice (274).

The Falcons rallied from a 27-14 deficit in the fourth quarter. Jacquizz Rodgers had his second touchdown run and Ryan connected on a 3-yard touchdown pass to Levine Toilolo with 1:54 remaining.

But they couldn’t stop Jets quarterback Geno Smith when it mattered. Smith came into the game leading the NFL with 11 turnovers, including eight interceptions. But he completed 16 of 20 passes for 199 yards and threw three touchdown passes, and finished up by directing the drive to set up Nick Folk’s 43-yard field goal on the final play.

‘‘He’s a rookie,’’ Atlanta safety William Moore said of Smith, ‘‘and we make him look like a 10-year veteran.’’

Surgery for Sanchez


Mark Sanchez’s season is over. It might be the end of his time with the Jets, too. The maligned quarterback, who was once dubbed ‘‘The Sanchize’’ and drew early comparisons with Joe Namath, had season-ending surgery on his right shoulder Tuesday. The surgery, which repaired a torn labrum, was performed by Dr. James Andrews, the team announced. Sanchez, who hasn’t played since being injured in the third preseason game, said in a statement that he was advised by Andrews and other doctors to have surgery after seven weeks of rehabilitation . . . The Giants (0-5) have the NFL’s worst running game and it doesn’t look like it’s going to improve much this week as starting halfback David Wilson will miss the game against the Bears on Thursday night with a neck injury and the starting job is seemingly going to fall to Brandon Jacobs, who has not started a game since the end of the 2011 season . . . Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who was injured in Week 3, will miss the rest of this season after opting for neck surgery. The Colts also waived fullback Robert Hughes, a sign that Indianapolis expects starting fullback Stanley Havili to return from an ankle injury.

Vick back at practice

Don’t rule Michael Vick out just yet. Two days after injuring his left hamstring, Vick was back on the field Tuesday. Vick left late in the second quarter of Philadelphia’s 36-21 win at the Giants after pulling his hamstring running out of bounds on a 13-yard scramble . . . The Bills added insurance at quarterback by signing Dennis Dixon to their practice squad . . . Given an extra week to stew over the worst start in 45 years, coach Mike Tomlin is tweaking the lineup when the Steelers (0-4) visit the Jets on Sunday. Defensive end Cameron Heyward will start, embattled left tackle Mike Adams will sit, Kelvin Beachum and newly acquired Levi Brown will both get a look at Adams’s vacated spot, and rookie Vince Williams will line up alongside Lawrence Timmons at inside linebacker . . . Safety Will Allen, a 10-year veteran, was released by the Cowboys . . . The Panthers have finally given up on Armanti Edwards, waiving the fourth-year wide receiver. Former Panthers general manager Marty Hurney drafted the Appalachian State quarterback in the third round in 2010, giving up a second-round pick in 2011 to the Patriots to get him. Edwards never made the transition to wide receiver, catching just five passes in his career for 121 yards, while averaging 7 yards per punt return . . . The Jaguars placed safety Dwight Lowery (concussion) and offensive tackle Luke Joeckel (ankle) on season-ending injured reserve, and placed tight end Allen Reisner (knee) on IR, with the designation to return later in the season.

Band gets apology

Lions center Dominic Raiola apologized for ‘‘unacceptable’’ remarks he made to the University of Wisconsin band over the weekend as his team moved swiftly to defuse an off-the-field distraction. ‘‘My interaction with the Wisconsin Marching Band was inappropriate,’’ Raiola said in a statement released by the Lions. ‘‘I apologize to those I offended along with all of the members of Wisconsin’s Marching Band.’’ The Lions said Raiola called band director Michael Leckrone to apologize for his actions and to say he was going to make a ‘‘significant donation’’ to support the band. Band members said Raiola verbally abused them at Lambeau Field, where they were performing before and after Sunday’s Lions-Packers game . . . Bengals cornerback Adam ‘‘Pacman’’ Jones was found not guilty of an assault charge accusing him of punching a woman in the head at a Cincinnati nightclub.