Dan Quinn just had a press conference, and he said the Atlanta Falcons think they’ll get running back Devonta Freeman back in practice sometime this week.
Freeman got a concussion when the Falcons took on the Indianapolis Colts, and he then missed three practices. After he missed the one last Friday, the Falcons ruled him out for Sunday’s game. The team then went on to lose to the Minnesota Vikings, 10-20.
Concussions are different for everyone, but it would make sense that Freeman would clear the protocol this week. Typically, it takes players just one-two weeks to get back in the lineup. That Quinn is optimistic suggests Freeman was very close before Sunday’s game.
Tevin Coleman did run pretty well in Freeman’s absence, putting up 110 yards on 18 carries. However, he did not manage to find the endzone, and he also lost a fumble, which is always costly. It was the second straight game in which he lost a fumble; he ran for 48 yards the week before, against Indy, on 17 attempts. He did not score in that game, either.
The lack of touchdowns—along with turnovers—is really hurting the Falcons. At the beginning of the year, Freeman was a touchdown machine. Now, Matt Ryan is being forced to throw, and he leads the NFL in redzone interceptions. However, the Falcons have to keep trying to throw if they can’t trust their running backs to get into the endzone.
Quinn also noted that the team is going to take a close look at wideout/return specialist Devin Hester this week. If they like what they see, he could find his way back to the active roster. The Falcons need to do something to stop their skid before they’re entirely out of the playoff picture.