Paying running backs is often a bad idea. It’s why the Pittsburgh Steelers have been hesitant to do so with Le’Veon Bell. There’s only so many hits running backs can take. The Falcons are now going through that dilemma. Devonta Freeman has been placed on injured reserve after undergoing groin surgery. He could return at some point during this season with being eligible week 14 against the Packers. That’s assuming he’s okay to return and assuming that Atlanta is in the playoff race at that point. Neither of which seems likely.
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports was the first to report the news:
Big loss from Falcons as they are going to place Devonta Freeman on IR today @NFLonFOX
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) October 16, 2018
Freeman, 26, was drafted in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Florida State. Freeman was lucky enough to land a 6-year extension following the 2017 season worth $43 million. That contract could look ugly down the line given Freeman’s injury concerns. Freeman’s season ended with 14 rushes for 68 yards and five catches for 23 yards in his brief time on the field.
“Following the game against Pittsburgh, where Devonta injured his foot, we thought he was just having general soreness in his groin area,” said Falcons coach Dan Quinn. “As the week went on it continued so we decided to have him get some tests. It has been determined that he will need a procedure that will result in us placing him on injured reserve. We are hopeful he will be able to return this season, but we will have a better feel for that in the coming weeks.”
Atlanta will finish the year with Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith moving forward. Tevin Coleman has a chance to really boost his value with his free agency pending following the season. Ito Smith has been better than advertised which really helps Atlanta. He has scored in three straight weeks but is only averaging a pathetic 3.2 yards per carry. Coleman, on the other hand, hasn’t been much better averaging 3.7 yards per carry.