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

Todd Bowles confirms Ryan Fitzpatrick is Jets starting QB: ‘It’s his job’

Carmelo Anthony shocked Dwyane Wade left Miami for Chicago

Report: David Lee signs with the Spurs

Craig Sager to miss Olympics while undergoing bone marrow transplant

Jarryd Hayne wouldn’t have retired if NFL had minor league system

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Draymond Green: ‘Me and LeBron are friends’

Pierre-Paul won't need to wear club on hand this season

Report: Four cities remain in contention to host 2017 NBA ASG

Doc Rivers: Clippers have plan to let Paul Pierce retire as a Celtic

Another young 49er, Kaleb Ramsey, retires from NFL

Saints GM: Drew Brees’ contract situation is not a ‘distraction’

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Hue Jackson: Browns will give Josh Gordon a fresh start

Diamondbacks nearing Daniel Hudson trade

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

What would George Costanza have traded to get Bonds and Griffey?

Gabby Douglas can make USA Gymnastics history at Olympics

Week 3 will determine the Big Ten's reputation this season

Cam Talbot thinks the Oilers are close to making the playoffs

The new era of WWE SmackDown has liftoff

Vlade Divac: Cousins ‘most dominant player in the world’

Wild offer to make Prince's 'Let's Go Crazy' new goal song

Canucks don't dismiss acquiring player with past issues

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

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

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