Julio Jones will likely be drafted as a top-five wideout in many leagues this year. He's a stud, even though there's a pretty big red flag attached to his fantasy stock.
Jones has fractured the same bone in his right foot twice in the past 33 months. The re-break came in October and required season-ending surgery. In that surgery, doctors took steps to lower the odds that Jones' foot fractures won't become a chronic condition.
According to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jones underwent a 'cutting-edge medical procedure' that involved using a larger screw than was used in his first surgery to secure the broken fifth metatarsal of his right foot. Doctors also injected bone marrow taken from Jones' hip into the foot to help the injury heal quicker.
While such a treatment can help, it's not fool-proof. As Dr. Phillip Kwong told Mark Inabinett of AL.com, there are sometimes uncontrollable factors behind why bones break again. In this case, it could be that Jones' structure puts an unequal share of pressure on the outside of his right foot rather than evenly across it.
Jones isn't expected to be quite 100 percent when training camp opens, but he is set on being his old self come Week 1. Fantasy owners believe he'll be fine as Jones is being drafted inside the first 15-20 picks. You know the risks, but the return from Jones if he plays a full season is going to be ridiculous. He was on pace for more than 130 catches and 1,800 yards prior to last year's injury.
Side note: While the original story came from Ledbetter, Inabinett's story is linked below because the original story is hidden behind a paywall.