Steven Jackson's backups scramble to get prepared

USA Today - [Full Article]

Steven Jackson's latest hamstring injury is giving Jacquizz Rodgers, Devonta Freeman and Antone Smith a chance to fill the void at running back for the Atlanta Falcons.

It's a tough assignment considering how far the run game has fallen, dropping from 17th in 2011 to 29th in 2012 to worst in the NFL last season.

Jackson, the NFL's active career leading rusher, missed four games with a left hamstring injury and finished his first year as a Falcon with 543 yards rushing and 3.5 per carry — the lowest numbers of his 10-season tenure.

For the past several days, Jackson has been nursing a right hamstring injury, putting his three backups in competition for snaps.

Fantasy Impact: 

There's really no timetable for Jackson's return other than the team said originally he'll be ready Week 1. Rodgers and Freeman are splitting work with the starters while Smith is working with the second and third teams. Rodgers had chances last year but proved to be more of a third-down option, which is why there is a buzz around Freeman. This is a situation to watch for potential Jackson owners. With hammy injuries creeping up again, having Jackson's handcuff could prove to be key.

Filed Under: 2014, Preseason

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