Freeman to be held out of practice today

Here's a look at some key players to watch when the Falcons host the Panthers Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Video by Leo Willingham)

Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (sore knee) will be held out of practice on Thursday, according to coach Dan Quinn.

The Falcons are preparing for running back Tevin Coleman to carry most of the load. If Freeman can’t play, he’ll be backed up by Ito Smith.

Also, Brian Hill will be available after being called up from the practice squad.

“We highly regard (Coleman),” Quinn said. “We’ve been down this road before, if it gets to that where (Freeman can’t play), Tevin can certainly handle (the load). We’ve done that the other way where Free’s had to (play) when Tevin (couldn’t play). Obviously, we like them both together.”

Freeman, who was hit late in the Eagles’ game , was held out of Wednesday’s practice also.

“We’re going to let Free go the whole week and have a better sense tomorrow of where he’s at,” Quinn said.  “We’ll see what it looks like tomorrow.”

Wide receiver Russell Gage (knee) and guard Ben Garland (calf) also missed practice on Wednesday.

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), Coleman played 36 of 70 snaps (51 percent).

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