The Falcons are counting on a cutting-edge medical procedure — a stem cell technique — to help heal wide receiver Julio Jones’ right foot and the rest of the league’s medical community is closely watching.
Despite having a second and bigger screw inserted into the fifth metatarsal of his right foot, Jones believes that he can continue his mercurial climb to elite status in the NFL in 2014. He reports for training camp Thursday with the veterans and may be available when the team takes the field for its first practice Friday.
“This break should heal with the treatment that they gave,” said Dr. Phillip Kwong, a foot and ankle surgeon at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles. “It’s still tied to other factors involved in why it broke again. Sometimes, it maybe the way his foot structure is made. Like for instance, some people … tend to put more pressure out there on that fifth metatarsal rather than evenly across the foot.
“Sometimes the load goes more to one area. The fact that he has broken this twice, would suggest that there is something in his structure that puts more of a load on that fifth metatarsal.”
Medically, the fifth metatarsal is a problematic bone for doctors.
The article is the best accounting that we've seen of what's been going on with his foot. Jones was on pace for 131-1856-6.4 prior to his foot injury in Week 5. He has the potential to be the most productive receiver in the league, but the foot injury is a bit concerning, especially since it’s a broken bone in the same location as his pre-Draft injury. If he plays a full season, he’ll very likely finish in the top 5. He's a risky pick, however.