Quinn still hopes running back Freeman will return
FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons running back Devonta Freeman, who had sports hernia/ core surgery Oct. 18, was an onlooker at practice Friday.
“He did weeks of the rehab in Philadelphia,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “He’s back and doing well. We are just going to take it week by week and see where he can progress to. He isn’t able to practice yet. We are liter- ally taking it to where it is all of the work that you can put in. Each few days, we’ll meet and see where he’s at.”
Currently, the Falcons rank last in the NFL in rushing, averaging 79 yards.
“Definitely,” Quinn said when asked if he hoped Free- man would return. “We are not ruling anything out for sure. He’s definitely made a lot of progress. That’s like all of the guys, we are going to make sure that he can do it.”
Freeman had surgery at the Vincera Institute. William C. Meyers, one of the leaders in core/sports hernia injury surgery, founded the institute.
The Falcons placed Free- man on injured reserve Oct. 16, with a hope he could return later in the season.
The earliest Freeman could return is Week 16 against Carolina. Recovery from core/sports hernia surgery usually takes four to six weeks.
Freeman played in the season opener and suffered what was reported as a knee bruise against the Eagles. He missed the next three games before playing against the Steelers. He rushed eight times for 32 yards but didn’t look explosive on a 20-yard run after he got in the open field.
After the Pittsburgh game, Freeman got an MRI that revealed the tear in the core area.
The rushing attack has struggled as Freeman, the team’s leading rusher each of the past three years, has been injured.
Running backs Tevin Coleman and rookie Ito Smith have taken over most of the carries but have been inef- fective mostly because of poor run blocking.
After signing a six-year, $43 million contract in August 2017, this is the second consecutive season Freeman has missed time with injuries. He also missed two games in 2017 with a concussion before suffering a knee injury in the regular-season finale against Carolina.
In his two games this season, Freeman, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, rushed 14 times for 68 yards and caught five passes for 23 yards.
Devonta Freeman had sports hernia/core surgery Oct. 18.