Coach Dan Quinn declared Jones ready to go following Friday's practice. Quinn also said tight end Austin Hooper, who missed the last three games with a sprained MCL, is cleared to return to action.
Jones returned to practice this week in a limited role. Quinn said Jones would have had a chance to play against the Saints had the game been on Sunday rather than Thursday.
Jones, who stands 50 receiving yards away from his sixth-consecutive 1,000-yard season, enters Sunday with a career average of 94.6 receiving yards per game against the Panthers. His quarterback, Matt Ryan, is 34 passing yards away from becoming the 10th quarterback in NFL history to reach 50,000 career passing yards.
Quinn said rookie first-rounder Chris Lindstrom will start at right guard after being activated from injured reserve. Lindstrom hasn't played since breaking his right foot in the season opener at Minnesota. Lindstrom is expected to share time with Matt Gono at right guard. Wes Schweitzer and Jamon Brown are the other guards in the mix.
The Falcons ruled out starting left guard James Carpenter with a concussion and backup offensive lineman Ty Sambrailo with a hamstring injury. Reserve defensive linemen Allen Bailey will play despite missing practice this week due to a personal matter. Schweitzer or Brown will start for Carpenter.
The 3-9 Falcons will look to sweep the season series against NFC South foe Carolina, which will play its first game under interim head coach Perry Fewell after Ron Rivera was fired.