For the Eagles defensive backs, it has become a weekly routine. Whether it was Antonio Brown or Odell Beckham Jr. or Dez Bryant or Alshon Jeffery, they're tasked almost each week with trying to stop a Pro Bowl wide receiver.
"That's the league," safety Malcolm Jenkins said.
The assignment might not be any more difficult than it is this week, though. Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones already has a league-leading 970 yards this season to go with 51 catches and five touchdowns. If the Eagles added the receiving yards of their top three receivers in 24 combined games, it still would not total what Jones has compiled in nine games.
Jones' game film is enough to reveal just how much of a challenge the Eagles face on Sunday. But for those who were on the roster in 2015, they just need to remember the season opener. Jones finished with nine catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns despite being slowed by an injury in the second half.
Byron Maxwell is no longer on the Eagles to let that happen, but Jones is just as much of a threat.
"Being in the NFC South for five years, I saw Julio from his first year in the league until now, and he's a special talent," Jenkins said of the 6-foot-3, 220-pound receiver. "When you talk about his speed, his size, and his ability to get in and out of breaks, it's like nobody else in this league. And whether he's double covered, he's fast enough to run through it. When he's single covered, he can beat man-to-man, he can beat press. He's strong enough that when he catches the ball, he breaks tackles. He can outrun DBs. It's a tough task. Nobody's really stopped him all year. The biggest thing is to try to limit the big plays he has on a game."
In other words, it could be a long afternoon for the Eagles.
Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan plays Jones in different spots, so Nolan Carroll, Leodis McKelvin, and Jalen Mills could all see time on him. Carroll and McKelvin both endured hamstring injuries last week, which limited their production. Carroll is feeling better, but McKelvin will deal with his injury all season. And with the way Jones moves around the formation, the Eagles must be careful about being caught in an unfavorable matchup.
"It's a bit to prepare for," Jenkins said. "We're definitely going to have to survive some of those bad matchups and then continue to adjust as the game goes on, because they do a good job of scheming you up if you do the same thing over and over. They'll have something specifically for that game that you haven't seen before."
Among the film the Eagles watched this week were games against Seattle, Denver, and San Diego. Jones was limited to two catches for 29 against the Broncos, who relied on man-to-man coverage. Carroll, who will likely see considerable time on Jones, said the cornerbacks must be prepared to play Jones a similar way. The help will be Rodney McLeod as the deep safety - and the pressure the defensive line could apply on quarterback Matt Ryan.
"If we give the D-line enough time to get there, it'll make our job much easier," Carroll said.
Mills said the cornerbacks must also be aware of the Falcons' play-action fakes. They cannot get lulled into thinking a run is coming and then watch a receiver beat them over the top. Mills said the cornerbacks won't play "scared or timid," but they also must avoid discouragement if Jones makes a play.
They cannot allow the kind of game he had against the Carolina Panthers on Oct. 2, when Jones caught 12 passes for 300 yards and a touchdown in a 48-33 win. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz emphasized that the Atlanta offense is not just Jones, and they won three games this season when he was held to fewer than 30 yards. No. 2 receiver Mohamed Sanu has 37 catches for 416 yards and three touchdowns, and the Falcons also get their running backs and tight ends involved in the passing game.
"That's our challenge this week," Schwartz said. "It's not just about stopping the run; it's not just about stopping one receiver; it's not just about pressuring a quarterback. . . . We're going to have to play our very best."
But Jones will be a major emphasis in the defense's game plan. It doesn't help that cornerback is a weakness on the Eagles' roster. They'll need to rise to the challenge, get help from the safeties and the pass rush, and make sure that Jones is always in front of a defender - not behind all of them.
"You want him to at least be able to earn every catch that he gets and keep it in front of the defense," Jenkins said. "But that's the NFL, and you talk about all the talented receivers we've seen all year, he's definitely, probably at the top of that list."
Guard Allen Barbre and safety Terrence Brooks did not practice with hamstring injuries.
Tight end Brent Celek (rib), linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill (hamstring), defensive tackle Taylor Hart (ankle), and cornerback Leodis McKelvin (hamstring) were limited. Defensive tackle Bennie Logan remained a full participant with a groin injury and appears on track to play Sunday. The Eagles still have not filled their final roster spot.