Report: Falcons' Devonta Freeman to Be Placed on IR; Will Undergo Groin Surgery

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2018

Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (24) stretches during warmups before an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman's 2018 season has suffered another major setback.

According to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, Freeman will be placed on injured reserve Tuesday. Freeman is having groin surgery, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, although he "could potentially come back if all goes well."

Freeman has developed into a productive leader of the Falcons backfield after inheriting the starting job from Steven Jackson after the 2014 campaign. He posted back-to-back seasons with over 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015 and 2016. He added 865 yards and seven scores last year.

The 26-year-old Florida State product has struggled with injuries in 2018, though. After playing in the opener and missing Weeks 2 through 4 with a knee injury, he returned in Week 5 before heading back to the sideline with a foot issue. Freeman will finish the year with 14 carries for 68 yards and five receptions for 23 yards. He did not record a touchdown in the two games he played.

Tevin Coleman should once again receive a lion's share of the touches among Atlanta's ball-carriers. It will also create some additional opportunities for Ito Smith and, to a lesser extent, Brian Hill as they each move up a peg on the depth chart.

Although the team's backfield depth is capable of filling the void, the Falcons' offensive upside takes a hit when Freeman isn't available.

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