Julio Jones targets Saturday return

HOUSTON -- Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones, who has slowly worked his way back into action following a second foot surgery, said he expects to play against the Houston Texans on Saturday night.

Jones last played in a live game Oct. 7 of last year, when he fractured his right foot during a 30-28 loss to the New York Jets. He suffered the same injury before being drafted sixth overall by the Falcons in 2011.

Jones said he feels 100 percent now, although the team has been cautious with him this preseason.

He is on a practice schedule of one day on, one day off, although his practice workload increased this week.

Jones did not play in last week's exhibition opener against the Miami Dolphins. He did not participate in Thursday's joint practice against the Texans, meaning he will have two days off before game day.

The Falcons do not practice Friday.

Coach Mike Smith would not disclose Jones' playing status for Saturday when the topic was raised following Thursday's practice.

"We're going to go through the plan that we had, and I really don't want to talk about whether Julio's going to play or not,'' Smith said. "We have a plan, and we all know what it is.''

Jones is likely to play just a series. The Falcons said from the start he would be ready for the regular-season opener against the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 7.