Freeman is now dealing with a bone bruise, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com recently reported that the veteran running back’s status for Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers is in doubt. However, Graziano indicates that it’s “too soon to know” whether Freeman can suit up for Week 6. Either way, Atlanta isn’t concerned that Freeman is facing a long-term absence.
If Freeman can’t go, the Falcons will once again turn to a tandem of Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith. Tampa Bay, of course, is currently fielding on the league’s worst defenses, although it’s been much worse against the pass than the run. The Buccaneers rank 30th in passing DVOA to opposing running backs, so Coleman and Smith — both of whom are solid pass-catchers — could excel in that area on Sunday.
Injuries haven’t typically been a problem for Freeman: before missing two games with a concussion in 2017, he’d played in 47-of-48 games from 2014-16. Freeman, who topped 1,000 rushing yards and scored 11 rushing touchdowns in both 2015 and 2016, is under contract through 2022 after inking a five-year, $41.25MM extension last August.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.