Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Sports

Falcons RB Freeman (knee) out for Sunday's game vs Carolina

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons will be missing another key starter for Sunday's game against Carolina.

Two-time Pro Bowl running back Devonta Freeman was ruled out after missing the entire week of practice with a knee injury, another blow to a team that was already reeling from injuries to defensive stalwarts Keanu Neal and Deion Jones.

Coach Dan Quinn said he's hopeful that Freeman's injury isn't too serious. But there was a bit of uncertainty in the coach's voice when he spoke after practice on a sweltering Friday afternoon.

"We're under the hope that it's not a long-term thing," Quinn said. "When he can do the violent, explosive cuts that make him him, we'll certainly get him in there."

Freeman was injured in a season-opening loss to Philadelphia. Even though the Falcons had a 10-day break before their second game, the running back was not able to overcome the latest in what has become an alarming series of injuries.

During the 2017 season, Freeman sustained two concussions and a right knee injury. He missed two games and wasn't nearly as effective as the two previous years even when he was able to get on the field.

Freeman finished with 865 yards rushing and seven touchdowns, along with 36 receptions.

The starting spot is still in good hands with Tevin Coleman, but Freeman's injury deprives the Falcons of their 1-2 punch out of the backfield. Rookie Ito Smith, a fourth-round draft pick, moves up on the depth chart. Recently signed Brian Hill could also get some playing time.

The Falcons didn't even play Freeman during the preseason, wanting to ensure he was healthy when the games counted.

Then he went down in the very first one.

While Freeman is again dealing with an ailing right knee, Quinn said it's not the same injury as last season.

"There's nothing structurally wrong," the coach said. "He got hit on it and it's sore. When it bruises up and gets sore, you can't explode on it. He's such a unique player, but when you can't do your stuff, you can't do it."

In Week 1, the Falcons lost Neal to a season-ending knee injury, while Jones was placed on injured reserve with a foot problem. The Falcons are hopeful that Jones will be able to return this season, but he will have to miss a minimum of eight games.

Quinn said two backups also will miss Sunday's game: offensive guard Ben Garland (knee) and receiver Russell Gage (knee).

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Comments
Portland Timbers down short-handed Columbus Crew 3-2

Portland Timbers down short-handed Columbus Crew 3-2

Andy Polo's first goal in Major League Soccer put the Timbers in front before the end of the first half and Portland went on to defeat the Columbus Crew 3-2 on Wednesday night
Updated: 1 hour ago
Piscotty homers and drives in 5 as A's rout Angels 10-0

Piscotty homers and drives in 5 as A's rout Angels 10-0

Stephen Piscotty hit a three-run homer and matched his career high with five RBIs, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Los Angeles Angels 10-0 to snap a three-game losing streak
Updated: 1 hour ago
Diamondbacks, Ray avoid sweep with 9-0 win over Cubs

Diamondbacks, Ray avoid sweep with 9-0 win over Cubs

Christian Walker and Chris Owings homered off Cole Hamels, and Robbie Ray held the Chicago Cubs to one hit over six innings in the Arizona Diamondbacks' 9-0 win over the Cubs
Updated: 1 hour ago
Puig's pinch-hit homer helps Dodgers sweep Rockies, 5-2

Puig's pinch-hit homer helps Dodgers sweep Rockies, 5-2

Pinch-hitter Yasiel Puig slugged a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the seventh inning that sent the Los Angeles Dodgers past the Colorado Rockies 5-2 to increase their NL West lead to 2˝ games
Updated: 2 hours ago

Martinez scores 30th goal in stoppage time, Atlanta wins

Josef Martinez scored his second goal of the game in stoppage time and Supporters' Shield leader Atlanta United rallied to beat the San Jose Earthquakes 4-3, spoiling the debut of interim coach Steve Ralston
Updated: 2 hours ago

Japan's rugby World Cup prepares for typhoons, earthquakes

Organizers of next year's rugby Worlds Cup in Japan are preparing for natural disasters like typhoons and earthquakes
Updated: 2 hours ago
LEADING OFF: Yanks defend turf, Phillies-Braves, Scherzer up

LEADING OFF: Yanks defend turf, Phillies-Braves, Scherzer up

LEADING OFF: Yankees defend turf as Red Sox take 3rd swing at Bronx clincher, Phillies-Braves begin big NL East series, Scherzer's turn in Cy Young race, Rays on major roll
Updated: 2 hours ago
Union ends Sounders' win streak on Picault's late goal, 1-0

Union ends Sounders' win streak on Picault's late goal, 1-0

Fafa Picault scored in the third minute of second-half stoppage time, helping the Philadelphia Union halt Seattle's MLS-record nine-game winning streak by beating the Sounders 1-0
Updated: 2 hours ago
Myers, Galvis homer to lift Padres over Giants 8-4

Myers, Galvis homer to lift Padres over Giants 8-4

Myers and Galvis homer to lead the Padres over the Giants, 8-4, to avoid being swept
Updated: 2 hours ago
Pyeongchang Olympics: Costly venues may eventually be razed

Pyeongchang Olympics: Costly venues may eventually be razed

Pyeongchang Winter Olympics: Costly venues may eventually be razed
Updated: 2 hours ago