Julio Jones to increase workload

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who admitted having a mental hurdle to overcome following a second right foot surgery last year, said Wednesday the doctors reassured him his foot is fully healed, and he will increase his practice schedule.

Jones saw his first game action since Oct. 7 of last year during the team's 32-7 preseason loss at Houston last Saturday. He played 19 snaps and caught two passes for 20 yards while being targeted four times.

"It was good, man, just being back out there on the field,'' Jones said. "I'm still a little rusty, but that's what preseason is for -- to get back on the same page with Matt Ryan and making those plays.''

During Tuesday's episode of HBO's "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Atlanta Falcons,'' Jones talked about still having to overcome a mental hurdle with his foot in terms of running routes.

"It's just a part of it, just mentally,'' Jones said. "Just being back out there on that field and being cautious, you know. Those guys try to come up and tackle you. You're still trying to protect your foot. But the doctors said everything is 100 percent. And I just have to believe in them and just get my confidence back.''

Jones was asked how his body felt the day after the game.

"I felt good,'' he said. "I mean, no pain. I'm still doing a lot of treatment.

"Right now, they're going to increase the workload. I practiced today. And then tomorrow, also I'm going to practice.''

After sitting out the offseason, Jones had been on a day-on, day-off schedule when training camp began. He should get plenty of work during Saturday's third exhibition against the Tennessee Titans, which is a dress rehearsal for the regular season.

The Falcons open the season Sept. 7 at home against the rival New Orleans Saints.