Injuries: Julio Jones sits again; A.J. Green returns


Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones missed practice again on Thursday due to his hip injury.

There is a good chance that Jones could miss Friday's practice and still play this Sunday after performing well at less than 100 percent last week.

In a winner-take-all battle with the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, getting Jones on the field in any capacity is a game-changer. Mike Smith won't worry about his best player missing a few practices as long as he has Jones on the field come Sunday.

Steven Jackson (quad) also remained out of the Falcons' Thursday practice. Expect Devonta Freeman's role to increase in the season finale.

In better news for Atlanta, Roddy White (ankle) and Harry Douglas (foot) returned to practice. Both are on pace to play.

Here are some other injuries we are tracking on this Christmas Day:

1. Lions running back Joique Bell (Achilles) and receiver Calvin Johnson (ankle) participated in practice after missing Wednesday. Bell's status is uncertain for Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers, as coach Jim Caldwell simply said "we'll see," when asked, per the team's official website.

2. A.J. Green (arm) returned to the Bengals' practice and participated on a limited basis, according to the team's official website. The wideout's return is a good sign for his availability to play Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

3. Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph missed practice Thursday.

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