Julio Jones to play vs. Saints

— -- NEW ORLEANS -- Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who missed last week's game due to injury, will play in Sunday's crucial game against the rival Saints.

Jones worked out with the athletic performance staff prior to the decision, going through a ladder drill before exiting the field. He also participated in the Falcons' Saturday walk-through, an indication he had every intention to play.

Jones is nursing a painful oblique strain that affects his core from his ribcage to his hip and pelvic region, sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen. The team initially called it simply a hip injury.

Jones entered the day second in the NFL with 1,428 receiving yards, right behind the Steelers' Antonio Brown (1,498).

Sunday is a must-win scenario for the Falcons (5-9), who would be eliminated from the NFC South title hunt with a loss.

Falcons coach Mike Smith also is fighting for his job, as a loss would mean failing to make the playoffs for two consecutive years after an appearance in the NFC Championship Game.

Safety William Moore is active for the Falcons despite having a plantar fascia tear in his right foot, while starting right guard Jon Asamoah is inactive due to a back injury. Gabe Carimi will start in place of Asamoah.