From training camp through the Falcons' defeat in the wild-card round last season, Freeman couldn't avoid the injury bug, enduring a pair of concussions and MCL and PCL sprains in his right knee. While the Falcons likely don't want him to avoid contact entirely, they'll seemingly be strategic about when he experiences game action. If he earns some snaps Friday, it could be the only appearance he makes during the preseason.
Freeman (knee) looks like his old self early in training camp, Jason Butt of The Athletic Atlanta reports.
Freeman had a tumultuous 2017 campaign, suffering one concussion in August and another in November, then playing through PCL and MCL sprains in his right knee during the playoffs. Despite avoiding surgery, he was held out for the entire offseason program, ultimately waiting for the start of training camp to return to the practice field. Everything seems to be going well so far, as the fifth-year back has been a full participant with the first-team offense, albeit in sessions without pads. The next step is to see how he holds up during contact work over the next couple weeks.
Freeman played through MCL and PCL sprains during the playoffs and avoided offseason surgery, but he seems to have been limited to individual drills during OTAs and minicamp. While he should be ready for the start of training camp, the 26-year-old carries more risk than in past seasons after suffering the aforementioned knee injury and a pair of concussions in 2017. Including the playoffs. Freeman handled 933 touches the past three seasons, with at least 266 each year. The Falcons could look to give Tevin Coleman more work in the final season of his rookie contract, as they have a clear interest in keeping Freeman healthy for the long haul after signing him to a five-year, $41.25 million extension last August.
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.
|P3||8/25/18||@ JAC||7:00 pm|
|1||9/6/18||@ PHI||8:20 pm|
|5||10/7/18||@ PIT||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 8|
|9||11/4/18||@ WAS||1:00 pm|
|10||11/11/18||@ CLE||1:00 pm|
|12||11/22/18||@ NO||8:20 pm|
|14||12/9/18||@ GB||1:00 pm|
|16||12/23/18||@ CAR||1:00 pm|
|17||12/30/18||@ TB||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|