Freeman indicated Wednesday that he has made significant progress in his recovery from a sprained MCL and PCL, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. "I'm able to do a lot of things that I couldn't do back in January and February. Running, cutting, sprinting and getting little stronger."
Freeman played through the sprains in two playoff games, compiling 28 carries for 73 yards and six grabs for 29 yards (with two combined TDs). He may not be 100 percent for the start of OTAs on May 21, but his progress suggests he'll be a full participant for the start of training camp. Freeman will break in a five-year, $41.25 million contract extension with the Falcons in 2018, presumably occupying his usual role in the more favorable half of a timeshare with Tevin Coleman. While Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said he's open to keeping both backs long term, it's nonetheless quite possible that Coleman -- entering the final year of his rookie contract -- will move on after this season. On top of the recent knee injury, Freeman's concussion history (he suffered two last year) figures to impact the Falcons' long-term valuation of Coleman.
Freeman (knee) appeared to be on a side field doing rehab work Tuesday, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
Freeman played through a sprained MCL and PCL in his right knee during the playoffs, managing only 73 yards on 28 carries and 29 yards on six receptions, though he did score two touchdowns in two games. He also suffered a pair of concussions last season, bringing his reported total to three during his NFL career. It's no surprise to see Freeman doing rehab work while the Falcons start their offseason program, as he said in late March that he wasn't sure if he'd be ready for Organized Team Activities in May. He does expect to be back at full strength before training camp, where he'll prepare for the first season of the five-year, $41.25 million extension he signed in August. Fellow running back Tevin Coleman is in the final year of his rookie contract, and Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said it isn't out of the question that both backs could be retained long term.
Freeman said his injured right knee is "progressing on the up and up" , Alec McQuade of 11Alive.com reports.
Freeman sprained his MCL and PCL in Week 17, and while the injury didn't stop him from playing in both of Atlanta's playoff contests, he was limited to 73 yards on 28 carries (2.6 average) and 29 yards on six receptions, albeit with a pair of touchdowns. Despite avoiding offseason surgery, he seems to be acknowledging that his right knee still isn't back to full strength. Freeman said in February that he wasn't sure if he would be ready for Organized Team Activities in May, perhaps hinting that he's more focused on getting back to full strength for training camp. His history of head injuries might ultimately be a larger concern than the knee, after he suffered concussions in August and November last season, with the second leading to a two-game absence. He also missed a game in November 2015 while recovering from a concussion.
Freeman (knee) said in a Feb. 2 interview with Mike Florio of NBC Sports Radio's "PFT Live" that he's not ruling out taking part in the Falcons' Organized Team Activities during the spring, Adam Wells of Bleacher Report reports. "Possibly," Freeman said about being ready for OTAs. "But I'm going to take my time and let [his right knee] heal so I won't have to deal with little nicks and knacks throughout the season, because that's the most important time for me. So I'm going to take my time and let it heal, get stronger. I need to be free when I'm out there."
Shortly after the Falcons were eliminated from the playoffs in their divisional-round loss to the Eagles, Freeman relayed that he was playing through a sprained MCL and PCL in the knee, an injury he initially suffered in a Week 17 win over the Panthers. The two-time Pro Bowler was able to avoid surgery to address the matter, but remains conscious of easing up on his workload leading up to training camp in order to avoid a potential setback. It's not expected that Freeman will face many limitations -- if any -- by the time camp opens, so he should enter the 2018 campaign as a borderline top-10 fantasy option at running back in most settings after amassing 1,100 or more yards in each of the past three years.
Head coach Dan Quinn revealed Thursday that Freeman won't require surgery on the MCL and PCL sprains in his right knee, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
After Saturday's divisional-round defeat at Philadelphia, Freeman discussed his health, noting the aforementioned knee issues. He was still a force as a runner and pass catcher throughout his fourth campaign, but his effectiveness in the former realm waned down the stretch. As evidence, he failed to reach 4.0 YPC in five of the Falcons' last seven contests, including each of the last four (including playoffs). Nonetheless, Freeman still averaged 84.4 yards from scrimmage per game and scored eight touchdowns in 14 regular-season outings, so he remains a valued fantasy asset, despite the presence of all-purpose RB Tevin Coleman in his own backfield.
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