FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Julio Jones may be on the verge of returning from his latest hamstring injury.
"It'll be encouraging to see him out practicing and not working with our athletic performance department," Smith said after Wednesday's practice. "He's done a nice job in his rehabilitation, working with those guys. So tomorrow, we'll give him an opportunity. If it goes well, we'll progress to Friday and give him back-to-back days of work."
Jones was taken No. 6 overall by the Falcons, who gave up a huge package of picks to Cleveland in hopes that another dynamic receiver would be the missing link in an otherwise productive offense. That hasn't worked out as planned, and Jones has been slowed by injuries. Still, the rookie ranks third on the team with 30 receptions for 498 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Hayden didn't even come out to the field Wednesday to work with the trainers, an indication he's not close to returning. But safety William Moore was back at practice in a limited role, showing progress after missing the last two games with a quadriceps injury.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press