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Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman told ESPN he played the end of the season with sprained posterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee.
Freeman played through the injuries and refused to use them as an excuse for his ineffectiveness in the Falcons’ 15-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Saturday’s divisional playoff. The two-time Pro Bowler ran for just 7 yards on 10 carries, although Freeman did score the team’s lone touchdown on a 6-yard reception from quarterback Matt Ryan.
Freeman initially suffered the injury in a Week 17 win over Carolina. He had been listed on the Falcons’ injury report due to a knee issue ahead of both playoff games.
“It was tough, but the game was on the line,” Freeman said. “It was really more like a PCL, and I really started feeling stuff on my PCL. But that’s no excuse. You know what I mean? You just have to play.”
Freeman was asked about the possibility of undergoing offseason surgery.
“I’m not sure yet,” he said. “But I’m not using that as an excuse. At all.”
Freeman’s primary concern is that the Falcons learn from Saturday’s disappointment to become a Super Bowl contender again next season.
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“We can grow from this, definitely,” Freeman said. “We finished, what, two years in a row [losing] in the Super Bowl and the second round of the playoffs. Now it’s just important to figure out ways to finish, stay healthy.”
Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn said some players might undergo surgical procedures this offseason but did not include running back Devonta Freeman, who suffered ligament damage in his right knee, on that list.
Freeman told ESPN that he suffered injuries to both his posterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in the regular-season finale against Carolina, yet played through it in two postseason games. An MRI revealed some degree of tear, but obviously not one severe enough to require a procedure.
“No,” Quinn said when asked if Freeman needed surgery.
Quinn had the same response when asked if wide receiver Julio Jones, who dealt with late-season ankle and thumb injuries, needed surgery. Jones pulled out of the Pro Bowl due to injury.
Quinn did not specify which players needed surgeries but indicated none would be significant.
“Nothing right now; we’re doing OK,” Quinn said. “There’s nothing that’s going to set guys back past normal offseason stuff.”
Some of the players that appeared on the team’s final injury report prior to the divisional playoff loss to Philadelphia were wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (knee), tight end Levine Toilolo (knee), linebacker LaRoy Reynolds (knee), Jones, and Freeman. Toilolo returned to action from an MCL injury without needed surgery.
Quinn said he is hopeful about the status of left guard Andy Levitre, who is coming off a triceps injury.
“I don’t know where he’s all the way at yet, either,” Quinn said. “That will be a discussion for later.”