Falcons still opimistic about game-time decisions on Julio Jones, William Moore

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith continued to sound optimistic about the status of both receiver Julio Jones and strong safety William Moore for Sunday's game against the Steelers.

Neither player practiced Thursday, and Jones wasn't visible in the locker room after practice. He apparently suffered a hip pointer in Monday night's 43-37 loss to the Packers, and Moore suffered some type of right foot injury. Moore's foot is not in a walking boot.

"I think that there's a good chance that these guys will be ready to go," Smith said. "Both of them have made a big turnaround in the first 48 hours, and usually that first 48 hours is a pretty good indicator. I think they will both be game-time decisions, but we do like the way that they've progressed through the first 48 hours."

Smith previously said Jones and Moore could play without practice at all during this short week. Moore's status appears to be more in doubt than Jones', although neither players has shown physical signs of being hobbled while simply walking around the locker room.

Smith sounded less optimistic about the status of cornerback Robert Alford, who has missed the past three games with broken wrist. Smith initially called it a two-to-four week injury.

"Robert is still not ready to go," Smith said. "He did not participate (Thursday), and I don't anticipate him practicing this week."

Outside linebacker/defensive end Stansly Maponga, who has been dealing with an elbow injury, was excused from practice Thursday. Smith said he expects Maponga to return Friday.

Roddy White (ankle), Harry Douglas (foot), Jon Asamoah (back), Paul Soliai (shoulder), and Justin Blalock (back) all were on the practice field Thursday.