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Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones inactive due to hamstring injury

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Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is inactive for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears while recovering from a hamstring injury.

Jones injured his left hamstring before the season then strained it again during last week’s 40-39 loss at Dallas. He did not practice all week leading up to the Bears game, but Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Jones would be a game-time decision.

With Jones out of the lineup, the Falcons will look to Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage as the primary receivers with tight end Hayden Hurst another top option for quarterback Matt Ryan. Christian Blake is likely to see more snaps at receiver with Jones out.

Through two games, Jones is the Falcons’ third-leading receiver with 11 catches for 181 yards and no touchdowns. He is one catch away from surpassing Roddy White as the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions (they are tied at 808).

Jones missed one game last season because of a shoulder injury that kept him out of a Thanksgiving matchup with the rival New Orleans Saints.

The Falcons and Jones have a little more time to prepare for Week 4 with an ESPN Monday Night Football matchup at Green Bay.

The Falcons also are without three key members of the secondary with rookie corner A.J. Terrell placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and cornerback Kendall Sheffield (foot) and safety Ricardo Allen (elbow) ruled out with injuries. Additionally, defensive end Takk McKinley (groin), starting linebacker Foye Oluokun (hamstring), starting right tackle Kaleb McGary (MCL) and defensive tackle Deadrin Senat are all inactive.

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Hurricane Zeta knocks out power at New Orleans Saints’ practice facility

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METAIRIE, La. — The New Orleans Saints lost power at their practice facility when Hurricane Zeta hit the area on Wednesday afternoon. But otherwise the team’s normal operations were not disrupted much.

Coaches stayed at the facility and did their normal game-planning work under generator power on Wednesday afternoon and evening, while players were sent home to ride out the storm.

“The power went out here, the generators came on. They worked. And we got our work done,” coach Sean Payton said. “So it was relatively pretty smooth here.”

Power was still out as of Thursday morning. But Payton said the team would catch up on the film work that was missed Wednesday, then practice outdoors — which they were likely planning to do already because they play outdoors at Chicago on Sunday.

In fact, the storm brought colder and windier weather than usual to the New Orleans area on Thursday. Not an exact replica of Chicago weather, with the wind coming in off of Lake Michigan, but about as close of an approximation as they’re likely to get this time of year.

Hurricane Zeta wound up being stronger than originally forecast. So there were no mandatory evacuations in the city as there had been for certain storms in the past that led to the Saints relocating their practices.



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Sources — Jacksonville Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew has multiple fractures, sprained ligament in thumb

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X-rays taken this week revealed that Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II has multiple fractures and a strained ligament in his right thumb, league sources told ESPN.

Minshew has had discomfort in his thumb since Jacksonville’s Oct. 11 game at Houston, a source told ESPN. He did not tell the team about the pain until after the last game, which led to a postgame X-ray in Los Angeles.

The Jaguars didn’t know about Minshew’s injury until this week, per sources.

It is uncertain whether Minshew will be able to play when Jacksonville returns from its bye to host the Texans.

Jacksonville’s backup quarterback is Mike Glennon, and Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone already stated before his team’s last game against the Chargers that he might have to ponder a quarterback change. The thumb injury could make the decision easy for Marrone.

The thumb injury might also explain why Minshew has sailed some passes in recent games that were not common previously; the thumb likely impacted his performance more than he and others realized.

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New York Giants offensive lineman Will Hernandez tests positive for the coronavirus, source says

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New York Giants guard Will Hernandez has tested positive for the coronavirus and is expected to be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday, according to ESPN and multiple reports.

The Giants announced Thursday that an unidentified player tested positive for COVID-19 and was immediately placed in self-isolation. The team also says “the contact tracing process was initiated.”

Individuals who were in close contact with the player have been identified and instructed to remain home Thursday, according to the Giants.

The players who have been told to stay away from the facility include multiple offensive linemen, according to ESPN and reports. NFL Network reported that the Giants had just four available offensive linemen who were not ordered to isolate Thursday.

The Giants also announced their facility would remain open Thursday and that the “rest of the team will follow their normal practice and meeting schedule.”

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