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Vaughn McClure, ESPN Staff Writer 341d

Julio Jones returns to practice ahead of Cowboys clash

NFL, Atlanta Falcons

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones returned to practice Friday after missing Wednesday and Thursday with an ankle injury, and he appears ready to play against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Jones -- who said he would be "all right" after suffering the injury in last weekend's 20-17 loss to the Carolina Panthers -- warmed up at the start of Friday's practice and didn't seem to have a problem pivoting, leaping or accelerating.

"We worked a good bit on our red zone and our third down, so we featured him in those roles today," Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. "He looked explosive coming out, trying to go through the stuff. We didn't give him tons of reps, but he banged his 10,000 hours in terms of his reps.

"We wanted to make sure it's always the ones he and Matt [Ryan] both need, that are game plan specific to this week. ... He had a good start to the day."

Jones hasn't missed a game this season despite showing up on the injury report with back, hip flexor and ankle injuries. He leads the Falcons with 658 receiving yards on 43 catches and has one touchdown reception.

Quinn said kicker Matt Bryant, who aggravated a right calf injury last week, is set to go Sunday. Bryant sat out most of the week but returned to practice Friday.

The other injury concern is left guard Andy Levitre, who showed up as limited on the injury report Thursday due to a knee problem. Quinn said Levitre is expected to play despite being listed as questionable.

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