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Julio Jones once dominated the wide receiver ranks while playing for the Atlanta Falcons, amassing the career stats that will likely put him in the Hall of Fame. But injuries derailed his once white-hot career. This week, the Philadelphia Eagles took a take a chance on what he has left in the tank by signing him to their practice squad.

He joins an already stacked receiver corps that includes Devonta Smith, A.J. Brown, Quez Watkins and Olamida Zaccheaus. At 34, it’s believed that he will be used as another option after an injury to Watkins put him on the injured reserve. Hurdler-turned-receiver Devon Allen was also moved up from the practice squad.

“We’re a little banged up at wide receiver and just wanted to add some extra depth and another proven guy in there,” Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni told the Philadelphia Inquirer.Quez is out for a little bit … but I do want to take a second to say, a guy like O.Z. — the toughness that he has and how reliable he is as a player, a guy like that always has a spot on offenses that I’m going to be a part of. Always.”

Jones, now 34, says he’s just going to take the game as it comes to him and realizes that he’s there to help more than to be the main threat in his position.

“The biggest thing for me is to go out there and learn as much as I can right now,” he told the media on his first day as an Eagle. “And wherever the team needs me to fit in at, I’m willing to do it. I’m a veteran, I can move around, whatever the case may be.”

Jones last played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but was again felled by injury. Though he hasn’t played a full season since 2019, the Eagles likely believe that Julio Jones, even years past his Pro Bowl glory, can still be a solid backup. His relationships with other Alabama alums, notably Brown and QB Jalen Hurts, also factored in his signing.

“He’s a guy that’s coming in, and he’s about his craft,” said Hurts. “Obviously, knowing where he comes from, and knowing where our background resides, he has that mentality. A future Hall of Famer. He’s as good as it gets. So, he’s coming in with a great mentality, and a great person to add to this team.”

While football’s Darwinian ethos makes for the wild swing of a future Hall of Famer getting back to the gridiron via the practice squad, it is likely that Jones will see some action. After all, wide receivers, however great, cycle in and out for a reason.

Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman seems to be utilizing the strategy of making sure he has a backup for the backups as the Eagles move toward their most challenging time of this season with upcoming games against the Dolphins, Commanders, Cowboys and Chiefs.

They will need renewed focus from their multimillion-dollar quarterback, though. Despite taking the team to Super Bowl LII in an ultimately losing effort, Hurts has struggled this year, throwing seven interceptions in the first six games, in which the Eagles have amazingly amassed a 5-1 record. This middle stretch of the season is where Super Bowl contenders are made…or lost.

Jones hopes to help move the team in the right direction.

“My mindset is definitely to dominate,” Jones said to the media. “Don’t get it twisted. I’m here to dominate, but guys are already here and they’re solidified. They have their positions, right? So wherever they need me to go and be, I’m going to do that at the best of my ability.”