Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) is stopped short of the goal line by New York Jets safety Josh Bush (32) during the first half at the Georgia Dome on Monday. Jones will undergo season-ending foot surgery. (Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)
The Atlanta Falcons’ season took another dismal turn Wednesday when the team announced wide receiver Julio Jones would undergo season-ending foot surgery.
In a Monday loss to the New York Jets, Jones fractured his right foot — the same injury he sustained in 2011. Following a second opinion from foot specialist Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday, Jones scheduled the operation for Monday.
“Unfortunately, Julio’s appointment with the doctor today confirmed our initial findings,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said in a statement.
Anderson performed surgery on the same foot in 2011. Despite breaking the foot while at the University of Alabama, Jones ran a 4.39-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine before having the operation. The Falcons still traded up to select Jones sixth overall.
Losing Jones is the latest bad news for the Falcons, who are off to a 1-4 start after a trip to the NFC Championship Game last season.
Jones continued to play Monday after getting hurt, according to Smith, even making a diving 46-yard catch while covered by the Jets’ Antonio Cromartie.
Jones leads the NFL with 41 catches and is second in the league with 580 receiving yards and 59 targets. He has two receiving touchdowns. Despite being double- and sometimes triple-teamed, he accounted for 35.3 percent of Atlanta’s receiving yards and 26.9 percent of the team’s catches through the first five games.
Jones, 24, will become the eighth Falcon on injured reserve.
Atlanta’s receiving corps was already diminished due to a nagging hamstring and ankle injuries to Roddy White. Harry Douglas likely will start opposite White in Jones’ absence.
Douglas has 27 receptions for 219 yards this season, while White has just 23 catches for 129 yards. Neither has a touchdown reception.
Atlanta is on bye week before returning to action Oct. 20 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.