Coleman, the third-year player from Indiana, is like having another starter in the arsenal anyhow. In fact, he was the starter at the beginning of his rookie season in 2015, when Coleman and Freeman both dealt with preseason hamstring injuries but Coleman recovered faster. Then Freeman became the starter -- and a two-time Pro Bowler -- after Coleman suffered a rib injury in his second career game.
If Coleman starts next Monday night in Seattle, as expected, he'll be backed up by Terron Ward. Quinn said rookie Brian Hill has made progress the past few weeks, although Hill remains on the practice squad. Fullback Derrick Coleman is capable of playing running back, if needed.
The bad news for Coleman owners, even if he starts while Freeman misses multiple games, is the Falcons face three run defenses ranked in the top 10 the rest of the season -- Carolina (second), Minnesota (third), and Seattle (ninth).