The Atlanta Falcons played a fantastic football game today. Their 27-7 win over the Dallas Cowboys had everything: big plays on offense, Adrian Clayborn’s six sacks, and yet another 50+ field goal by the ageless wonder himself, “Money” Matt Bryant. But Falcons running back Devonta Freeman suffered a significant injury early in the first quarter. Let’s break it down.
Devonta Freeman took a hard, helmet to helmet hit on the second offensive play of the game. He got up and wobbled a bit, after which Ed Hochuli made him leave the game. He went to the sideline treatment tent before going into the locker room for additional evaluation. They officially diagnosed him with a concussion in the 2nd quarter, his second this season. That doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence going forward for several reasons.
This is Freeman’s second concussion in four months. According to Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, Freeman actually suffered the concussion last week. The Falcons then allowed him to play. (Whether they knew about it is unclear. At this point there’s nothing suggesting they acted improperly.) Davis deleted his tweet, which is odd.
Tevin Coleman and Terron Ward filled in admirably after Freeman was ruled out, but this is obviously not ideal. There’s no way Freeman returns next week and I’ll be surprised if he’s back in two weeks. The risk of him suffering a third concussion in a single season is just too great.
Meanwhile, aside from Freeman’s concussion, the Falcons stayed pretty healthy. Julio Jones did his usual thing, limping to the sideline here and there.