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Dan Quinn: Julio Jones to play for Falcons vs. Panthers

Julio Jones is back.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn told reporters on Thursday that Atlanta's All-Pro receiver will play Saturday against the Carolina Panthers, per Kelsey Conway of the team's official website.

Jones practiced for the third straight time on Thursday after missing the past two games with a toe injury.

The Falcons wisely took a patient approach with their star pass-catcher, allowing him to rest ahead of the team's critical playoff push. Currently notched as the NFC's third seed, Atlanta steered through Jones' absence with ease, posting 83 points over their past two games.

Receivers Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel picked up the slack, but adding Jones to the mix only bolsters an attack that leads the NFL in scoring under the guidance of quarterback and MVP candidate Matt Ryan.

It's unclear how much time Jones will see against Carolina -- the game script will go a long way toward answering that question -- but it's a tremendous relief for the Falcons to have their best player back in the mix.

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