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Steven Jackson Injury: RB Hurts Hamstring, Expected Back For Season Opener

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The first injury of Falcons training camp strikes, and it's a hamstring issue for Steven Jackson.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

We now know why Steven Jackson missed practice today, as he apparently suffered a left hamstring injury in Monday's first padded practice.

This is an unfortunate blow for Jackson, who was trying to come back healthy and rejuvenated after an injury-marred, frustrating 2013 season that saw him rush for a career-low 543 yards and 3.5 yards per carry. The good news is that the team fully anticipates he'll be ready for the season opener against New Orleans, and he has over a month to heal if that's the case. The bad news is that hamstring injuries have an infuriating habit of lingering, but at least it's not the right hamstring that plagued him a year ago.

In Jackson's absence—and there's no word on whether the team anticipates he'll be back in action at any point during the preseason—Devonta Freeman, Jacquizz Rodgers, Antone Smith and Josh Vaughan will handle the load. This is a huge opportunity for Freeman, the rookie back who has been so impressive in training camp and the man most likely to step into the full-time carry vacuum if Jackson can't go come Week 1. We'll see how the snaps shake out once preseason hits.

Linebacker Pat Angerer was also hurt in Tuesday's practice, but the team didn't disclose his status following practice. We should know more for practice begins again on Thursday, but if it's a minor injury, he should have time to heal up during tomorrow's off day. Jackson, meanwhile, will hit the shelf immediately as he heals up.

Get well soon, S-Jax.