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First off the field: Respect aplenty for Jones


JACKSONVILLE – Davon House isn't preparing differently.

There is no particular extra focus for the Jaguars' cornerback this week, and there is no framed photo of Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones on his locker for motivation.

But make no mistake:

House knows the difficulty of his assignment Sunday. And as is the case with the rest of the Jaguars' defense, he knows that despite the Falcons' record – and despite a six-game losing streak – the difficulty is real.

"It doesn't motivate me, but I do recognize what's in front of me," House said as the Jaguars (5-8) prepared to play the Falcons (6-7) at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m. "You never want to disrespect an opponent, especially an opponent like him. He's really, really, really good.

"I know what's ahead of me and I'm preparing this week like I'm going against one of the greatest right now. But I don't change too much up."

Jones, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, is the centerpiece of a Falcons offense that ranks seventh in the NFL in total offense, sixth in passing.

Quarterback Matt Ryan has struggled at times this season with 17 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, but Jones remains one of the NFL's elite players regardless of position. Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said the Falcons' talent level has made it easy to move on from the euphoria of a 51-16 victory over Indianapolis last Sunday.

"They've put that one aside, and they're really working on things they need to work on," Bradley said. "It has been good, specifically defensively because the team that's coming in here is very talented. They're very talented at quarterback, wide receiver and running back as well.

"That's definitely caught our attention, seeing it on tape."

No Falcons player catches attention quite like Jones. A rare combination of size, speed and strength, Jones led the NFC In receiving yards last season and leads the NFL this season in receptions (109) and yards (1,426) while also scoring six touchdowns.

"He's one of the best," Bradley said.

Jones also has unusual ability to turn a potential bad play into a good play, with Ryan relying on Jones' ability to win 50-50 balls in a similar to fashion to Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles' developing rapport with wide receiver Allen Robinson.

"You can see a strong trust on tape with him and Matt," Bradley said.

Images from Thursday's practice ahead of the Jaguars Week-15 matchup with the Atlanta Falcons.

House, who has shadowed receivers such as DeAndre Hopkins of Houston this season, has a team-high three interceptions this season along with a team-high 19 passes defensed. He likely will draw Jones one-on-one on multiple occasions Sunday, a situation he said he knows will draw Ryan's attention quickly.

"They have confidence in him, and anytime you have a one-on-one situation with any elite receiver with no help a lot of positive stuff can happen out of it," House said. "Whenever they get a chance at a one-on-one matchup, I can see them throwing it up. For sure."

Also around the Jaguars Thursday:

*Running back T.J. Yeldon and defensive end Ryan Davis were the lone active Jaguars players not practicing Thursday, with both players missing with knee injuries. Yeldon, a starter in 12 of 13 games this season, sustained a sprained knee in a victory over Indianapolis Sunday. Davis, a reserve Leo pass rusher, missed the Colts game. …

*Bradley said Yeldon has not been ruled out Sunday, and that he expects to provide an update on Friday. "He's made some progress," Bradley said. "He's still getting a lot of treatment."

*With Denard Robinson likely starting for Yeldon, wide receiver Rashad Greene or cornerback Nick Marshall could handle kickoff returns Sunday. Robinson has handled the role in recent weeks, returning two kickoffs for a 27.0-yard average this season. "We're still discussing that part of it," Bradley said. …

*Middle linebacker Paul Posluszny practiced full for a second consecutive day Thursday with a hand injury, with defensive end Chris Clemons practicing full after a veteran day off Wednesday. Posluszny is expected to start Sunday with a protective cast on his hand after missing Sunday's victory over the Colts. …

*Defensive end Andre Branch (groin) worked limited Thursday, as did cornerback Dwayne Gratz (hamstring), tight end Nic Jacobs (hamstring), defensive tackle Roy Miller (knee), offensive tackle Jermey Parnell (knee) and wide receiver Bryan Walters (back). Miller and Parnell were added to the injury report. Jacobs and Walters both missed Sunday's game. …

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