Freeman was the No. 1 overall running back in 2015 and followed that up with a top 6-7 finish in 2016, depending on the format. He turned in fringe RB1 numbers in 2017 before multiple injuries cost him all but two games last season. Freeman is still just 27 years old and now his primary competition, Tevin Coleman, is out of the way, so he should be in line for a big workload, provided he can stay healthy. Ito Smith will serve as his backup, but hasn’t yet flashed like Coleman did while he was in Atlanta.
This isn't a huge surprise, but with Ito Smith also done for the year, it solidifies Tevin Coleman as a workhorse the rest of the way. He is a solid RB2 this week despite the tough matchup against the Panthers.
At the end of last season, Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said he could envision a scenario in which the team would re-sign running back Tevin Coleman, even after inking starter Devonta Freeman to a long-term contract.
That scenario remains a possibility, according to coach Dan Quinn.
Freeman has had a variety of injuries, like concussions and knee problems, so there have been some questions about his durability. The story added there are issues on the offensive line as well, but, it remains to be seen if the Falcons can afford to keep both backs.
Coleman and Smith will take over the workload. As we reported earlier, Coleman is averaging just 3.7 yards per carry while Smith has scored a TD in three straight games. Even if Coleman returns from IR, he'll need to miss eight weeks first.
The Atlanta Falcons will place two-time Pro Bowl running back Devonta Freeman on injured reserve with a groin injury, coach Dan Quinn said Tuesday.
"Following the game against Pittsburgh, where Devonta injured his foot, we thought he was just having general soreness in his groin area," Quinn said. "As the week went on, it continued, so we decided to have him get some tests. It has been determined that he will need a procedure that will result in us placing him on injured reserve."
With Freeman out, the Falcons now will return to Coleman as the starter with rookie Smith as the backup. Coleman is averaging 3.7 rushing yards per game, while Smith set a franchise rookie record this past weekend by scoring a rushing touchdown in his third consecutive game.