FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn ruled out running back Devonta Freeman for Saturday's exhibition against the Arizona Cardinals as Freeman goes through the final stages of the concussion protocol.
Freeman, who was injured in practice, didn't travel for this past Sunday's exhibition at Pittsburgh after playing in the first exhibition at Miami. He ran sprints on a side field during Tuesday's practice.
"He's doing well,'' Quinn said about Freeman. "He's going to visit with the independent part of the protocol come up here soon. He won't play in this ball game. He won't practice today. He's back to full-speed running. But it's soon that he'll be back participating full speed in practice. But you won't see him suited up for this weekend.''
Freeman will miss Saturday's grand opening of the $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Falcons will have a walk-through at the stadium Friday.
Freeman's absence means Tevin Coleman moves into the starting role for the "dress rehearsal'' game of the preseason. It also allows Quinn and the coaches to get a better evaluation of both Terron Ward and rookie fifth-round draft pick Brian Hill for the third running back spot behind Freeman and Coleman.
The Falcons' final exhibition is next Thursday against Jacksonville. Since the starters typically rest in that final exhibition, there's a chance Freeman won't see any game action until the Sept. 10 regular season opener at Chicago.
Freeman, named the to Pro Bowl the last two seasons, just signed a five-year, $41.25 million contract extension.