Julio Jones knows what Dez Bryant is going through
Julio Jones didn't go as far as Atlanta teammate Roddy White, who suggested Dallas receiver Dez Bryant could miss the rest of the season with a broken foot similar to the injury that sidelined Jones for most of 2013.
The NFC leader in yards receiving through two games did have some advice for Bryant, who is likely out at least until the end of October after breaking his right foot in the season opener against the New York Giants.
''With Dez, he's just going to have to take time and get healed up properly because you can rush these things,'' said Jones, whose Falcons visit the Cowboys on Sunday in a matchup of 2-0 teams. ''Because of the competitor that he is, you don't want to rush it and then it sets you back.''
Jones, who has 276 yards and two touchdowns, missed the final 11 games two years ago after breaking the same bone as Bryant, on the outside of his right foot. However, it was the second fracture for Jones in less than three years.
''I don't know how he's going to bounce back from it,'' Jones said. ''For me, speaking for myself, I was probably on bed rest with no weight-bearing for probably two months. That's before I was even able to go out and run or anything.''
Bryant might be trying to show that his recovery will be fast. When the locker room was open to reporters this week, he showed up limping on the injured foot without a walking boot.
RINGS OF EXCELLENCE: Living Pro Football Hall of Fame members are getting 14-karat gold rings of excellence this year. By the end of the season, 93 Hall of Famers will have received them, and the remaining members will get theirs over the course of the next two seasons.
Members of the class of 2013 and 2014 already have their rings.
Each ring is made by Kay Jewelers, is set in 14K gold and has a total diamond weight of 1 3/4 carats. The outer diamonds create a stadium effect surrounding the football-shaped diamond center. Individual details on each ring include a likeness of the enshrinee's bust, his position and years in the league on one side. His name, the Pro Football Hall of Fame logo and his enshrinement class are on the other.
It takes about eight weeks to create each ring, which was redesigned in 2013, when Kay Jewelers began its relation with the hall and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Canton, Ohio shrine.
Mick Tingelhoff will receive his ring Sunday in Minnesota. All living Packers Hall of Famers will get theirs Monday night at Lambeau Field, and 2015 inductee Jerome Bettis gets his on Thursday in Pittsburgh.
The Bengals have been using Jake Fisher as an extra blocker on some plays, putting him in the spot that would normally be filled by a tight end. During a 24-19 win over the Chargers last Sunday, he became a receiver for the first time. Fisher threw a block and then slipped out of the backfield uncovered for a 31-yard gain.
He was so wide open that he had lots of time to contemplate dropping the ball.
''Just thinking: Catch the ball,'' Fisher said. ''That's about it. It set me up for more opportunities in the future. We'll see what happens.''
The Bengals practiced the play in the week leading up to the game. When it worked well against the Cincinnati defense, Jackson decided to try it.
''That's exactly how you want it to look,'' Dalton said. ''I don't think we even got that good of a (result) in practice.''
SULLIVAN SITTING OUT: Vikings center John Sullivan's back started bothering him the second week of training camp. The discomfort worsened. The team's medical staff tried a variety of treatments. After a few setbacks, some of the symptoms were intensifying.
So surgery to repair a herniated disc was ordered.
Sullivan, who was placed on injured reserve with a designation to return at midseason, said he immediately felt better after the procedure two weeks ago. But those three weeks before the operation were miserable.
''There's a measure of guilt,'' the eighth-year veteran Sullivan said, referring to the feeling of letting the team down by his absence.
Then there was the home front, where Sullivan and his wife were trying to care for their son born just a few weeks earlier.
''My wife's been awesome. Really picked up the slack,'' Sullivan said. ''It was tough on her, basically taking care of two babies. I was pretty useless there for a while.''
Lewan made the decision to shave it off after center Brian Schwenke alerted him to a Twitter account named for the left tackle's mustache.
''The thing just went too far,'' Lewan said. ''To have the identity of a mustache is too much, and we lost a game. It was irritating me a little bit anyway, and I consider myself a much more handsome man without a mustache, as much as it pains me to say. But I'm sure I'll have a mustache sometime in the future.''
The second-year offensive tackle isn't completely bereft of such hair - sort of. He has a handlebar mustache tattooed on the inside of his right index finger.
AP Pro Football Writers Teresa M. Walker, Barry Wilner and Dave Campbell, and Sports Writers Joe Kay and Schuyler Dixon contributed to this notebook.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL