FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Julio Jones was battling through a lower leg injury against the Carolina Panthers, but head coach Dan Quinn said it didn't have anything to do with his drop near the end of the game.
The star wide receiver dropped a wide open pass in the end zone in the fourth quarter that would have been about a 40-yard touchdown. While the Falcons were able to score again later in the quarter, the drop was costly and allowed the Panthers to hold on to a 20-17 win at Bank of America Stadium.
"He definitely had to battle through a lower leg injury," Quinn said on Monday. "But to have an effect on that one, if you asked him he'd say absolutely not."
Jones appeared to get injured during the team's third drive of the game while getting tackled after making a catch. He immediately went to the sideline and rubbed his calf. He returned, but his speed at times looked off.
Matt Ryan overthrew a pass to him in the end zone before halftime, and perhaps the injury kept Jones from accelerating to the ball. But Quinn didn't seem to think so.
Jones wanted to play through it, and Quinn allowed him to. Quinn commended his toughness as well as Devonta Freeman's toughness after suffering a minor shoulder injury against the New York Jets a week prior.
Jones said after the game there were no excuses for dropping the pass in the end zone.
"I just didn't take advantage of the opportunity. Just missed it," Jones said.
Jones has 658 receiving yards this season and just one touchdown.
Quinn expects Jones to be limited through the week. The Falcons host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.