"I've been doing this, so I don't need preseason to get ready."
Atlanta Falcons All Pro wide receiver Julio Jones won't be putting on his helmet and pads when the Falcons square off against the Denver Broncos this Thursday in the NFL's annual Hall of Fame Game. In fact, Jones won't be playing at all during the preseason, similar to the way he sat out last year's exhibition games.
Speaking at Falcons training camp on Tuesday, the six-time Pro Bowler declared:
"I'm not playing in the preseason," Jones said, per CBS Sports. "I'm a veteran. I've been doing this, so I don't need preseason to get ready."
"I get reps with Matt everyday. We go inside, we throw, we do our thing — what we need to do," he said of his time with Ryan.
"It's a mentality thing. As long as I get my reps in practice — I practice the way I play. Once I get my reps in and things like that, I'll be ready to go."
Jones, 30, did not appear in any preseason games ahead of the 2018 season either - and the year before that he only appeared in one game, and didn't even catch a pass, before heading to the sidelines.
The Falcons will open up the 2019 regular season on the road against the Minnesota Vikings on September 8, followed by a Sunday night home-opener against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2.