Devonta Freeman, in the midst of his third down year in a row and trade discussions, had his best game of the season against the New Orleans Saints. His stat line of 38 yards on 10 carries and three catches for 10 yards against a stout Saints defense fails to tell the full story. He was an integral part to a ball-control offense that burned up the clock and ultimately brought home a win.
It was unclear when Freeman ultimately went down with an injury, but he was officially questionable around halftime, then announced as out at the start of the 4th quarter with a “foot” injury.
Ian Rapoport has an early update, which does not include the severity of his injury.
#Falcons RB Devonta Freeman was initially diagnosed with a foot sprain, source said, and he’ll have an MRI today to determine the extent of it. Coming off a dominating win over the rival #Saints, this will be watched closely.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 11, 2019
We usually hear about the specific injury, as a “foot sprain” is unusually vague in NFL circles. We reached out to Dr. Google, who suggests a foot sprain could include anything from overstretched foot ligaments to completely torn ligaments. Neither sounds comfortable, with non-NFL specific recovery times ranging from two weeks to eight months.
Since we did not see the injury, it seems unlikely Freeman has one of the more serious injuries. He probably did not jog off the field short of a few important foot parts.
In Freeman’s place, Brian Hill looked like a player who should have been in the running back rotation all season. Again, the Saints have a stout defense. They have allowed the 5th fewest rushing yards per game. Hill looked spry on 20 attempts producing 61 yards, with a heavy focus on burning up the clock in obvious run plays. He caught one pass for a 10 yard touchdown.
Despite being active, the Falcons surprisingly refused to give Qadree Ollison any touches, or even any offensive snaps. If Freeman misses any time, it is a good bet that Hill takes the bulk of the carries. Ito Smith remains out with a neck injury and is generally not expected to return in the near future.