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Falcons coach Dan Quinn excited to have Devonta Freeman back in the mix

Dan Quinn, Devonta Freeman, Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons season was a big disappointment last year and a major reason was Devonta Freeman not being able to contribute much, but he is healthy again and coach Dan Quinn thinks that is a big key heading into this season.

Freeman was injured during the season opener and dealt with knee and groin injuries throughout the season until he was ultimately placed on injured reserve. Quinn knows how important Freeman is in the run game, but he is also a huge threat out of the backfield.

“He’s doing well, I’m excited to get him back in the mix,” Quinn said this offseason via 247 Sports.

“He’s a factor in the run game for sure based on his slashing style but he’s also a really good receiver. He’s one of those guys who has a lot to prove and heading into the season that’s a good thing. [I told him] his lost year, make it matter.”

Freeman is a physical runner that is hard to take down, but that has also caused him to suffer his fair share of injuries including concussions. The Falcons let Tevin Coleman walk this offseason, so it’s even more important that Freeman can stay healthy this season.

Behind Freeman on the depth chart are Ito Smith and Brian Hill. Last season, Smith played a bigger role in the offense after Freeman went down finishing with 350 yards rushing and four touchdowns. He also was strong out of the backfield, catching 27 passes for 152 yards.

The hope is that Freeman and Smith can be the one-two punch that rejuvenates the Falcons rushing game.