Training Camp Notes: Freeman enters concussion protocol

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn revealed starting running back Devonta Freeman, who exited Sunday’s practice with a previously undisclosed issue, has entered concussion protocol and won’t be available for this week’s preseason matchup with the Steelers. If you play preseason DFS, that means Tevin Coleman will get the start Sunday. However, Freeman and Coleman combined for only two carries last week against the Dolphins so smarter plays would figure to be Terron Ward and Brian Hill, who received 11 and nine carries, respectively. Though Ward is probably the favorite to win out, that latter pair is seemingly jockeying for the No. 3 RB job in Atlanta – which would obviously become very relevant if something were to happen to Freeman or Coleman – and both should again see plenty of opportunities to prove themselves. On his 11 attempts in Miami, Ward logged 48 yards (4.36 YPC) and a touchdown while Hill, who’s the team’s fifth-rounder out of Wyoming if you’re wondering, gained just 10 yards on his 9 attempts (1.11 YPC).

  • Bills wideout Jordan Matthews was diagnosed with a fractured sternum Monday and is week-to-week moving forward. Though injuries are a serious and unfortunate matter, it’s kind of ironic the team traded away the injury-prone Sammy Watkins and the receiver they got to replace him went down on the first day of practice. Hopefully, Matthews can recover in time for the start of the regular season. If not, Buffalo will be left with Andre Holmes, Anquan Boldin and Zay Jones as its top receivers.
  • Malcolm Mitchell (undisclosed) participated in 11-on-11 drills for the first time since late July and reportedly looked good in doing so. The Patriots have been unsurprisingly evasive in providing the details surrounding his situation, so it’s unclear if or when he’ll be able to participate in any preseason action. On the bright side, there’s been nothing to suggest he’s in danger of missing Week 1.
  • Bilal Powell (neck) and Matt Forte (hamstring) both took reps in individual drills Monday. The pair arguably represents the only proven talent the depressing Jets offense has to offer, so it wouldn’t be surprising if the team continues to bring them along slowly. With that said, they haven’t yet been ruled out of this Saturday’s preseason outing in Detroit. In their absence last week, Romar Morris (12 carries), Jordan Todman (8) and Elijah McGuire (6) split the load, but none averaged over 2.5 YPC and their longest run of the night was six yards.
  • Braxton Miller is nursing a mild ankle sprain he suffered in last week’s preseason opener against the Panthers. Fortunately this doesn’t appear to a significant injury in the slightest, but he could miss a few days of practice. However, if Miller ultimately isn’t able to play in Saturday’s preseason game against the Patriots, one name to keep in mind is Dres Anderson, who paced the team with eight targets, four receptions and 80 receiving yards in the preseason opener.
  • Nick Foles (elbow) returned to practice Monday but isn’t expected to play in this Thursday’s matchup with the Bills. That means another week of Matt McGloin in the No. 2 role and probably more reps for fourth-stringer Dave Evans. Against the Packers in the preseason opener, McGloin attempted a gaudy 42 passes and could be in store for another sizable workload with Foles on the sidelines.