Falcons' Devonta Freeman: Retains No. 1 role

Freeman (groin) is the Falcons' unquestioned No. 1 running back following the free-agent departure of Tevin Coleman, Tim Weaver of USA Today reports.

Freeman won't be able to replace Coleman's speed component, but as he returns from an injury-plagued season, the former is slated to retain a substantial share of the Falcons' backfield reps. Among Freeman's competition is 2018 fourth-round pick Ito Smith, who managed 467 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns as Coleman's complement as a rookie. Beyond Smith, Brian Hill and Kenjon Barner round out the depth chart. As long as he avoids the injury bug in 2019, Freeman may draw a large workload like he did from 2015 through 2017, when he averaged 283.7 touches for 1,452.3 yards from scrimmage and 11.7 touchdowns per campaign.

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