The Atlanta Falcons are in need of a comeback season. 2013 did not pan out like the franchise was hoping thanks to injuries across the roster. After re-tooling in the offseason, the team is confident they can return to top form like in 2012, but much of that will be determined by how the offense bounces back. With two of the best wide receivers in the league on the roster, will both be on the field at the same time this season?
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Both Julio Jones and Roddy White struggled with injuries last season that stalled the offense and was simply too much to overcome. White was in and out of the lineup while Jones' season was cutshort just as he was leading the league in receiving yards. White is healthy and active during organized team activities, but Jones is still out with some uncertainty regarding when he will be back.
While speaking with ProFootballTalk.com, wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie remained optimistic that Jones would be back come training camp, but was not willing to say for sure when the star receiver would be back at full force.
"The day I can see him come out and just run and practice at full speed, practice all day and get up the next day and practice again, certainly then I'm going to feel he's back," Robiskie said, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. "I think every day, we'll be out there with him with caution. We'll be watching him a little bit kind of standing on pins and needles. I think if he jumps in the air to catch the ball, if he jumps on top of some [defensive back] and some DB is under him, you're nervous. But again, I don't know if it's necessarily that I'm nervous that Julio is jumping in the air catching the ball. You're just nervous when one of your guys is jumping up to catch the ball. . . . You're nervous about two guys and their feet getting tangled up. You're nervous about their knees getting [knocked]."
White and Jones make up one of the best receiving tandems in the league, but when one is off the field, the Falcons' offense struggles. That was spotlighted last season and while Harry Douglas had a breakout season because of it, not having Tony Gonzalez puts added pressure on the remaining receivers. That could force the Falcons into making a move.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that there is a possibility the team makes a move before camp. A trade for Oakland Raiders wide receiver Denarius Moore is an option. Originally a fifth-round draft pick, Moore would not be too expensive. There is a chance he gets released, so expect the Falcons to be patience. They could make a run at Jermichael Finley or Dustin Keller who will come cheap. Santonio Holmes is also on the market. Atlanta has options if they feel Jones' prolonged absence will be an issue, but it would not hurt for the team to add another body no matter what.