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Falcons RBs Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman sidelined by hamstring woes

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons starting running back Devonta Freeman suffered a right hamstring strain Thursday and was unable to finish practice.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn did not immediately provide a timetable for Freeman's return.

"Hopefully, for him, it's a quick turnaround," Quinn said of Freeman. "He's such a passionate competitor. You can see how disappointed he was not to be able to finish today. So hopefully, we'll get him back out here soon. He is an absolute competitor. Just every day, he brings it. And he stands for a lot of the stuff I love about our team: attitude, intensity, toughness and wanting to compete."

The Falcons also were without rookie running back Tevin Coleman, who is competing with Freeman for the starting role. Coleman also has a hamstring strain and has missed the past two days of practice.

With Freeman and Coleman out of the lineup, undrafted rookie Terron Ward got some first-team reps after an impressive showing in camp the past few days. Returning veteran Antone Smith and second-year player Jerome Smith also are in the running back rotation.

"It will be a unique opportunity to get some of the guys some more turns," Quinn said. "Hopefully the other guys will be back quickly, too. But I love the group -- I really do in terms of the attitude they're trying to establish. It's unfortunate, but at the same time, the next guy is up."

In other news, first-round pick Vic Beasley was one of a handful of players held out of practice with stomach illnesses. He joined fellow rookie Justin Hardy, right guard Jon Asamoah and outside linebacker Brooks Reed, who is battling a hip-groin injury as well. Quinn expressed hope to get all three players back for the Thursday evening walk-through.

The Falcons' first preseason game is Aug. 14 at home against the Tennessee Titans. There is a strong possibility that both Freeman and Coleman could miss the game, depending on the severity of their respective hamstring strains. The lowest grade of hamstring strain typically calls for a 2-to-4 week recovery period.