Coleman carried 16 times for 107 yards and added 18 yards while catching all four of his targets during Sunday's 31-24 win over the Panthers.
In the absence of Devonta Freeman (knee), Coleman received twice as many touches as he did in Week 1, responding with his highest scrimmage yard total since last October. He averaged an excellent 6.7 yards per carry thanks in part to a long gain of 36 yards, and tied for fourth on the team in targets even though he didn't make a huge impact through the air. Coleman should continue to carry the load for the time being, with Freeman expected to miss up to four additional weeks while he recovers. He should be heavily involved once again next week against the Saints.
The Falcons are preparing for Sunday's game against the Panthers as though Coleman will serve as the team's lead back, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. "We highly regard [Coleman]," head coach Dan Quinn said. "We've been down this road before, if it gets to that where [Devonta Freeman can't play], Tevin can certainly handle [the load]."
For much of the past three seasons, the top backfield duties have fallen to Freeman, but he's no lock to suit up Week 2 after missing his second straight practice Thursday due to a sore knee. Even if Freeman is cleared to suit up come Sunday, the Falcons would likely monitor his usage carefully, paving the way for Coleman to pick up the bulk of the snaps out of the backfield. Coleman previously handled the lead role while Freeman missed two games with a concussion last November, accruing 155 total yards and three touchdowns on 40 touches between those contests.
Coleman carried his impressive preseason form into Week 1 against the Eagles, as he joined Jay Ajayi and Julio Jones as the only players to break double-digits in standard scoring formats. If Devonta Freeman (knee) is indeed active for Atlanta's Week 2 matchup against Carolina, he is likely to have a tempered pitch count in an attempt to keep him healthy down the stretch of the regular season, meaning that Coleman could be in line for upwards of 20 touches against a Panthers defense that finished third against the run in 2017.
Coleman compiled 38 yards on seven rush attempts, adding one reception for 10 yards amidst a 17-6 loss to Jacksonville on Saturday.
Granted, 22 of Coleman's 38 rushing yards came from a single carry, but the 25-year-old back looked explosive once again with Devonta Freeman out of the lineup. Since being contained to eight yards on three attempts in the preseason opener versus the Jets, Coleman has picked up 6.1 yards per carry over the past two contests against the Chiefs and Jaguars (73 yards on 12 carries). Sure to be one of the most coveted free agent targets once his contract expires after the season, Coleman is off to a roaring start in 2018.
Coleman collected 35 yards on five carries during Friday's preseason game against the Chiefs.
The scatback displayed impressive burst with a limited workload, slicing through the Kansas City defense for back-to-back 15-yard runs on the Falcons' first offensive possession of the ballgame. Coleman picked up his second consecutive start as Devonta Freeman was held out following his injury-riddled 2017 campaign. With Coleman entering the final year of his rookie contract, it will be intriguing to see if Atlanta elects to "run him into the ground" so to speak, or if the coaching staff chooses to give third-string option Ito Smith more playing time to gauge whether or not he can be the change-of-pace option beyond this season.
|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|