The Falcons will place Devonta Freeman on injured reserve, according to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports (on Twitter). It’s a crushing blow for the Falcons, who were hoping to get him back on the field sooner rather than later.
The Falcons’ starting running back has dealt with knee and foot trouble this year, but a groin injury has become his most pressing issue. Atlanta has been using Tevin Coleman and newcomer Ito Smith in the backfield, and they’ll continue to lean on that duo during Freeman’s extended absence.
Freeman will be a candidate to return from IR later this year after undergoing groin surgery, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Per league rules, he’ll have to miss a minimum of eight weeks, meaning that he cannot play until Week 14 against the Packers, at the earliest.
Freeman rarely battled injury issues through the early part of his career, as he played in 47-of-48 games between 2014 and 2016. He missed a pair of games last season with a concussion, and he’s only played in a pair of games this season. In those two games, the 26-year-old has compiled only 68 rushing yards. He’s under contract through 2022 after inking a five-year, $41.25MM extension last August.
The Falcons improved to 2-4 on the year after topping the rival Buccaneers on Sunday. Strangely enough, they’re 0-2 with Freeman in the lineup and 2-2 without him. Of course, they might have fared better against the Eagles and Steelers if they had Freeman at full strength. Between those two games in Week 1 and Week 5, Freeman drew just 14 totes and seven targets.
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