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Julio Jones (hip) ruled out for Falcons vs. Steelers

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Despite Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith's optimism during the week, Julio Jones was ruled out by the team Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a hip injury.

The receiver suffered the injury in Monday night's loss to the Green Bay Packers while putting up 259 yards and a touchdown on 11 receptions. Jones missed practice all week.

The loss of the wideout is a humongous blow to the Atlanta Falcons, who have been carried by the 25-year-old the last few weeks. Still leading the NFC South, the Falcons will turn to a less than fully healthy Roddy White and Harry Douglas on the outside.

Jones' absence, however, is a big boost to the Pittsburgh Steelers -- who have been burned on the back end often this season.

Jones leads the NFL with 1,428 receiving yards and is second in the NFL with 147 targets this season. Jones has a touchdown in three straight games (zero TDs in the seven games previous to that). Over the past three games he has compiled 26 receptions, 172 yards per game, six receptions of 25-plus yards and three touchdowns.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews the Week 15 schedule and recaps the Cardinals' win over the Rams. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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