FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Running back Devonta Freeman has been ruled out for the Falcons' preseason finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars, head coach Dan Quinn said on Monday.
Freeman suffered a concussion prior to Atlanta's second preseason game, forcing him to miss the Falcons' final two exhibition games. The Pro Bowl running back was able to return to practice on Monday but was limited to individual work.
Not being able to suit up and take the field with his teammates wasn't easy for Freeman, but the time away allowed him to gain perspective.
"Mentally, it helped me out a lot," Freeman said of what he learned while being sidelined for two games. "It made me realize how blessed I am to be able to compete and play the game I love. My job is what I love to do, and not too many people can say that in this world. It was definitely a reality check for me, I just took it all in and realized how blessed I am."
Freeman has been one of Atlanta's most productive players over the past three seasons – rushing for 2,383 yards and 23 touchdowns. The Pro Bowler has also been a factor in Atlanta's passing game, catching 157 passes for 1,265 yards and six touchdowns.
The Falcons rewarded Freeman for his play over the past couple of seasons by signing him to a five-year contract extension in early August as he enters the final year of his rookie contract.