Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 11/25/11
Compared to last week when he sat out, rookie wide receiver Julio Jones's status for Sunday's game with Minnesota has been upgraded by the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons officially listed Jones on Friday as probable, whereas last week they listed him as questionable because of a hamstring injury that he suffered on Nov. 13 against New Orleans. Jones did not practice on Wednesday but did get back on the practice field on Thursday in a limited capacity and participated fully on Friday. And while the Falcons have a host of defensive players on the injury report, their fears could be allayed by the fact that running back Adrian Peterson most likely will not suit up for the Vikings. The Vikings listed Peterson as doubtful with a high-ankle sprain, but head coach Leslie Frazier told reporters in Minnesota that Peterson was "very, very doubtful" after suffering an injury last Sunday and failing to practice all week. The Falcons also ruled out starting nickelback Kelvin Hayden (toe) for Sunday, meaning his back-up Christopher Owens will start in his place. Other Falcons starters who might return to the lineup include safety William Moore (probable), who has missed the last two games with a quadriceps injury, and left tackle Sam Baker, who was listed as questionable after participating fully on Friday for the first time since suffering the injury on Oct. 16. "When (Moore) first was injured, we thought it would be somewhere in the three to four week timeframe of getting him back," Falcons head coach Mike Smith said earlier this week. "This Sunday will be three weeks so right now, we're a little bit ahead of schedule but it's a good thing." Baker also was listed as questionable last week against Tennessee, when he was inactive for the fourth straight game. He has missed five weeks with the back injury, as he was injured before the Falcons' bye week. Smith has mostly side-stepped questions about whether Baker has lost his job to back-up Will Svitek, who has filled in fairly ably in Baker's absence. With Hayden out, the Falcons could be somewhat thin on defense if some of the other players listed on Friday's injury report cannot go. Cornerback Brent Grimes (knee) did not participate in practice on Wednesday, was limited on Thursday, and then on Friday, in an ominous sign, did not practice. If Grimes does not play, the Falcons would be especially vulnerable in nickel situations with Hayden already out. Most likely Owens would take Grimes spot at the left corner and the Falcons would venture even farther down the depth chart at nickel, most likely to second-year player Dominique Franks. Franks has received little to no playing time on defense during the regular season. Fortunately for the Falcons, they face one of the NFL's worst passing offenses in the Vikings. In recent weeks, the Vikings switched from veteran Donovan McNabb at quarterback to rookie first-round pick Christian Ponder. Smith was asked to compare Ponder to Tennessee's Jake Locker, another rookie quarterback taken in the first-round who hurt the Falcons last week with 140 yards passing and two touchdown throws in less than a full half of play. "There's a lot of similarities," Smith said. "In fact, on a stopwatch, he might even run faster than Locker. He's done a nice job tucking the ball down and running. Again, he was the leading rusher in the ballgame against Oakland. He had 70-plus yards rushing." In terms of the Vikings' running the ball with Peterson out, both Smith and Frazier said it was possible that former Florida Gator Percy Harvin would line up in the backfield and take handoffs. Toby Gerhart would be the starter. Back-up Falcons defensive tackle Vance Walker (groin) also was listed as questionable, potentially hurting the Falcons depth on the defensive line rotation. The Falcons like to play four defensive tackles and Walker's absence would cut that to three. Their only other defensive tackle, Carlton Powell, has not played since the third game of the season and possibly has only played on special teams.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rickie Fowler taunted by fans over his ex-girlfriend

Roger Goodell speaks about future of Pro Bowl in annual address

Mike Krzyzewski provides an update on his health

Sacramento Kings seriously considering firing George Karl

Rick Pitino says school should be penalized, 'but not this team'

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban defends hack-a-player strategy

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jameis Winston awarded Pepsi NFL rookie of the Year

Trade Rumors: Clippers ‘reluctant’ to deal injured Blake Griffin

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Three keys to victory for the Broncos in Super Bowl 50

Torrey Smith: ‘This is probably the best offense’ for Kaepernick

Byron Scott thought D’Angelo Russell would be further along

Under-the-radar Super Bowl 50 matchups

Is Tim Lincecum's run with the San Francisco Giants done?

$40,000 in Super Bowl tickets stolen from San Francisco hotel

Rams fan makes Super Bowl commercial ripping Stan Kroenke

Panthers LB wants 'clown' Rodney Harrison off the air

Jason Reid: Tom Brady will play at least three more years

Kirk Cousins says he has ‘very good relationship’ with RG3

Super Bowl 50 ticket prices are insane

Take a moment to appreciate the greatness of Cam Newton

4-Star 2018 quarterback Matt Corral commits to USC

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker