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Jones was X-rayed after the game, and results were negative, but a CAT-scan Tuesday showed something more serious.

“He’s going to be a hard guy to replace if we have to replace him,” Smith said. “We’ve got guys that are on our roster in Kevin Cone and Drew Davis. Harry (Douglas) will be asked to step up and if we have to make a roster move, we will look at all options that are available to us there.”

Without Jones, White and Jackson, quarterback Matt Ryan has but one elite playmaker, tight end Tony Gonzalez, who’s healthy.

Gonzalez came out of retirement in March, announcing he would return to the Falcons for his final season. Atlanta finished 10 yards shy of the Super Bowl last January, losing as the No. 1 overall playoff seed to San Francisco.

The ground game has been hit with injuries also.

With Jackson sidelined, Atlanta has relied on running backs Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling.

Snelling, though, left the Jets game with concussion symptoms and did not return.

“Every team has injuries, and we will not allow that to be an excuse,” Smith said. “As a coaching staff and as a team, we have to go out there and perform and we haven’t performed up to the abilities that we need to win football games and win them at the end thus far.”

After beginning the season with Super Bowl aspirations, the Falcons have joined Pittsburgh (0-5) and the New York Giants (0-5) as one of the NFL’s biggest disappointments.

Atlanta’s offensive line has struggled badly in protecting Ryan, who signed a $103.75 million contract extension on July 31, and the defense, which ranks last in third-down efficiency, isn’t pressuring opposing quarterbacks consistently.

The team returns to practice on Wednesday.

“We’re going to look at a lot of things, and nothing is sacred in terms of whether it’s scheme, whether it’s personnel _ we’ve got to evaluate everything,” Smith said.

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AP NFL website http://www.pro32.ap.org

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