With the possibility of Michael Turner not being at 100% thanks to a groin injury, the Atlanta Falcons might want to think about giving Julio Jones a few snaps at running back against the Arizona Cardinals this weekend.
Of course, the Falcons have Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling to fall back on but it still would not hurt them to give it a try, especially considering how horrible Atlanta was on the ground against the New Orleans Saints.
Jones actually has four rushing attempts for 19 yards on the year so far. In his rookie season, Jones rushed six times for 56 yards.
Of course, Atlanta should not make Jones a feature back because he is certainly much better as a receiver but he could definitely provide a change of pace given his speed and his athletic ability. The Falcons should also not look to run Jones up the middle, as defenses might see that as an opportunity to knock him off his block but a few scampers to the outside certainly would not hurt. Atlanta is certainly not the running team it used to be and ranks near the bottom this season in rushing. That being said, anything Jones could offer would be a huge boost.
Arizona has a fairly physical defense and their corners do a great job against the pass but they have shown vulnerability against the run. The Falcons must take advantage of this and more than likely plan to; Mike Smith is a pretty smart guy. However, with their poor showing against the Saints and the uncertainty of Turner’s status due to a groin injury, having a rushing package for Jones would not be such a bad idea.
As with most ideas like this, there is a catch and that is, Jones is questionable for Sunday’s game as well due to an ankle injury. The only thing that could be worse than Jones not playing Sunday is him injuring his ankle even more due to pretending to be a running back for a few plays instead of the great wide receiver he is.