Atlanta Falcons: Devonta Freeman out for Sunday’s opener with knee injury


ATLANTA—Opportunity knocks for Tevin Coleman.

With the not-so-surprising news of Devonta Freeman (three-year average of nearly 1,500 total yards/12 TDs) missing Sunday’s home opener to a knee injury, the burden of expectations falls to the aforementioned Coleman, now in his fourth year with the Falcons.

Will Coleman be ready for his spotlight on the national scene, which also doubles as a must-have game for the 0-1 Falcons?

History suggests Coleman will rise to the occasion.


a) Of the five times Coleman has logged 17 or more rushes in a game, the Indiana product notched 100 total yards and/or one touchdown four times.

b) For a three-game stretch last year, coinciding with Freeman being felled by injury, Coleman produced outings of 88-plus total yards and four total touchdowns.

c) Coleman (21 career touchdowns) has found the end zone in two of his last three games against the Panthers (Sunday’s opponent).

As a bonus, Coleman is also playing for a contract extension next winter, or a bona fide deal with another team, presumably with the promise of being that club’s workhorse back.

Just one week into the regular season, the Falcons have already placed two defensive starters on injured reserve: Linebacker Deion Jones (could return in November) and safety Keanu Neal (done for the year).

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