Falcons running back Devonta Freeman. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File) 

Falcons receive a boost with Devonta Freeman’s return to practice 

Freeman didn’t do much during the open portion of practice, but he did enough to be officially listed as limited on the injury report. 

“I think it’s big,” offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian said Thursday. “We’ve got some stuff out of him today. ‘Free’ is a great spirit on our team. He’s very alive. He brings the energy. He brings the juice. Not to mention the talent he brings.

“The process of him getting back on the field for us is definitely underway. It was great having him back out there today.”

Freeman had a blood contusion on the knee.

Freeman rushed six times for 36 yards and caught three passes for 14 yards in the 18-12 loss to the Eagles. He also gave up a sack to Eagles linebacker Jordan Hicks while in pass protection.

Freeman played 39 of 70 offensive snaps (56 percent), while Tevin Coleman played 36 of 70 snaps (51 percent).

The Falcons added running back Brian Hill from the practice squad to provide more depth at running back while Freeman was rehabbing.  

With Freeman out, Coleman rushed for 107 yards on 26 carries in the 31-24 win over Carolina. In the 43-37 overtime loss to the Saints, Coleman was held in check. He had 15 carries for 33 yards. 

Also, wide receiver Julio Jones (calf) was limited at practice after not practicing Wednesday. 

Special teamer Justin Bethel (knee) and defensive end Derrick Shelby (groin) did not practice.


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