Devonta Freeman can’t seem to catch a break. In the first game of the season, Freeman injured his knee, the same one that he injured during the 2017 playoffs. Freeman missed almost the entire offseason recovering from serious PCL and MCL sprains. He was ready to go week 1 but quickly re-injured his knee. The team never admitted it, but Freeman likely suffered a new knee sprain in the first game. Inside Injuries had him at an Elevated Injury Risk before the season due to lingering concerns with his knee. When a player suffers a serious sprain like he did last year, the ligaments get stretched out. Without surgery they are unlikely to return to normal, but they can get close with rest and lots of rehab. Unfortunately Freeman clearly had not fully recovered, and he paid the price.
Freeman’s latest knee injury forced him to miss four weeks, returning in week 5. This was in line with our Optimal Recovery Time, yet he remained a High Injury Risk according to our algorithm. Sure enough he got hurt again. This time it‘s a bone contusion. While this isn’t an overly serious injury such as a foot fracture, it is very painful and needs multiple weeks to heal.
Freeman has yet to practice this week and is looking more doubtful than questionable for week 6. Inside Injuries is showing that a mild contusion should sideline him for 2 weeks, but a more severe contusion could keep him out for another month. The Falcons need to again be cautious with their running back so this doesn’t turn into a lost season. It’s already getting close.
It’s time to fire up Tevin Coleman once again. Ito Smith also looked good in Freeman’s absence, so he is worth flex consideration in what should be a high scoring matchup with the Bucs.