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Mike Smith: Julio Jones (hip) will play vs. Saints

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In a game that could finally give us some clarity in football's worst division, the Atlanta Falcons plan to have their best playmaker on the field.

Wideout Julio Jones, who sat this week against the Steelers after injuring his hip against Green Bay back on Dec. 8, will be available for Sunday's matchup against the Saints.

"We're confident that he'll be ready to go this week," Mike Smith told reporters in Atlanta on Monday, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Smith added that Jones was missed in the red zone during Sunday's loss, the team's ninth.

We would say that the Falcons are desperate here, but desperation should have kicked in for one of these teams months ago. Still, Jones has been a bright spot amid an otherwise ho-hum season and should match up well against the Saints' 30th-ranked defense (Atlanta, by the way, is No. 32).

If Jones' last game against Green Bay -- 11 receptions for 259 yards -- is any indication of the groove he's in, Atlanta could have a legitimate chance of putting away New Orleans for good. The Falcons already hold the tiebreaker over the Saints regardless of Sunday's outcome, after all.

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