October 10, 2013

NFL Notebook: Atlanta's miseries continue with injury to star receiver

The Associated Press

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - The Atlanta Falcons' fears were confirmed Wednesday when a second medical opinion found that wide receiver Julio Jones' foot injury will cause him to miss the remainder of the season.

THURSDAY'S GAME

WHO: Giants (0-5) at Bears (3-2)

WHEN: 8:25 p.m.

TELEVISION: NFL Network

OUTLOOK: Eli Manning's team strives to avoid the club's first 0-6 start since 1976, but Chicago, having lost two in a row, is not without its own form of imperative here. Two things make it all but impossible to envision an upset. One, New York is the first team since the 1954 Chicago Cardinals to give up 31 or more points in each of its first five games. This is just a really, really bad defense. Two, the Giants lead the NFL with 20 turnovers, and few teams force those better than the Bears.

PREDICTION: Bears, 34-23

-- Greg Cote, Miami Herald

Jones, the NFL's leading receiver, injured his right foot in Monday night's 30-28 loss to the New York Jets.

He will have surgery Monday.

The loss of Jones is a devastating blow to the Falcons, who are 1-4 and entering their bye week.

Roddy White, a four-time Pro Bowl receiver, hurt his hamstring in the loss to the Jets and missed Wednesday's practice.

Harry Douglas, Kevin Cone and Drew Davis were the top receivers Wednesday.

After those three, the team's options are practice squad receivers Darius Johnson and James Rodgers.

"Injuries are a part of the NFL and you've got to deal with them," Smith said. "Everybody has to deal with them. Our guys understand it's an opportunity for somebody else to step up. We've done it many times already this season."

Jones leads the NFL with 41 catches and ranks second with 580 yards receiving. He made his first Pro Bowl team in 2012 when he had 79 receptions for 1,198 yards and 10 touchdowns.

49ERS: Linebacker Aldon Smith was charged with three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon, stemming from a party at his home in June 2012.

The 24-year-old Smith is on an indefinite leave of absence from the NFC champion Niners while undergoing treatment for substance abuse following a DUI arrest Sept. 20.

BRONCOS: Champ Bailey provided a glimmer of hope to Denver's staggered secondary when he practiced without limitations for the first time since Aug. 15.

That was the final training camp practice, and two days later he sprained his left foot in a preseason game at Seattle.

"I feel pretty good. I feel like I'm definitely making progress," said Bailey.

The 12-time Pro Bowl player hopes to make his 2013 debut Sunday when Denver (5-0) hosts Jacksonville (0-5).

COWBOYS: A Dallas grand jury added a second manslaughter count against former Cowboy Josh Brent in connection with a drunken-driving crash that killed a teammate.

The second indictment added a new count of manslaughter to the existing count of intoxication manslaughter.

Brent is accused of driving drunk during the Dec. 8 crash in suburban Dallas that killed Jerry Brown, his friend and a Cowboys practice squad player.

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