Coleman will lead the Falcons backfield moving forward after Devonta Freeman (groin/foot) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. Freeman has been absent in four of the Falcons' six games this season with an assortment of injuries. In those contests, Coleman only had to contend with rookie Ito Smith for touches but hasn't been effective, aside from a 107-yard effort on the ground Week 2. For the season, Coleman has averaged 3.7 YPC on his 71 rushes, hauled in 13 of 16 passes, and totaled three touchdowns. While volume shouldn't be a problem for Coleman, what he's done with it to date mostly has been underwhelming.
Coleman is set to start Sunday's game against Tampa Bay, ESPN.com's Vaughn McClure reports. Devonta Freeman (foot/groin) has been ruled out for a fourth time in six games, giving Coleman at least one more opportunity to strut his stuff in the starting job. He's yet to take advantage in the way many had expected, but Coleman did at least average 18 touches in the three previous games Freeman missed. The Bucs have held running backs to 3.7 yards per carry, but they've also given up six touchdowns and 604 scrimmage yards in four games, with 54 percent of the yardage coming on receptions.
Coleman (shin) was a full participant at Thursday's practice, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports. Coleman made a surprise appearance on Wednesday's injury report as limited due to a shin issue, but clearly it was minor enough to allow him to upgrade to full participation Thursday. Fellow running back Devonta Freeman (knee) is poised to make his first appearance since Week 1 after doing the same, so it appears as if the Falcons' backfield will be back to its usual alignment for Sunday's game in Pittsburgh. Coleman was somewhat disappointing during Freeman's three-game absence, averaging 83 scrimmage yards while scoring just one touchdown.
Coleman was limited in practice Wednesday due to a shin injury, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports. On the same day coach Dan Quinn gave Devonta Freeman (knee) a vote of confidence regarding a return to action, Coleman popped up on the Falcons' injury report. Both running backs received limited workloads Wednesday, calling into question how the snaps at the position may break down Sunday at Pittsburgh. No matter how the pair proceeds this week, Coleman seems poised to experience a reduction in the 18 touches per contest he averaged during Freeman's three-game absence.
Coleman was contained to 51 yards on 14 carries, but added three receptions for 26 yards during a 37-36 loss to the Bengals. Through his first four career games as the Falcons' No. 1 back in place of Devonta Freeman (knee), Coleman averaged 89.3 rushing yards per contest. Over his last two outings as the lead man against New Orleans and Cincinnati, he's averaged an anemic 42 yards per game as Atlanta has dropped to 1-3 to start the 2018 campaign. Freeman may be back for Week 5 after practicing on a limited basis last Thursday and Friday, but if Coleman is handed the ball as the feature back again, it will come against a Steelers defense that entered Week 4 allowing the sixth-fewest points to opposing running backs in standard scoring.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|7||10/23||New York Giants||21||18.67|
|12||11/23||@New Orleans Saints||4||12.40|
|14||12/09||@Green Bay Packers||13||15.67|
|17||12/30||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||24||21.20|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||120||513||5||20||245||2||115|