Devonta Freeman unlikely to play in final preseason game

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn said that running back Devonta Freeman, who is in the final stages of the concussion protocol, is unlikely to play in next Thursday's final exhibition at home against Jacksonville.

Freeman was already ruled out for this Saturday's exhibition against the Arizona Cardinals -- the first game at the new $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium. But although Freeman might return to practice next week, his next game action is likely to be the Sept. 10 season opener at Chicago.

Quinn doesn't always rest his starters in the final exhibition. It's a different case with Freeman, however.

"For him, I think it will be unlikely that he would," Quinn said of Freeman facing the Jaguars. "But I would like to get him back out practicing."

Freeman did some full-speed sprints during Wednesday's practice. He initially suffered the concussion during practice after the first exhibition against Miami. It was Freeman's second concussion as a Falcon, with the other occurring during a game against the Indianapolis Colts in November of 2015.

Quinn said he is hopeful Freeman will practice fully next week. The plan is to have Freeman work out prior to Saturday's game against the Cardinals.

Quinn has not decided if wide receivers Julio Jones and Taylor Gabriel will play against the Cardinals. Jones, who underwent foot surgery in March, was held out of the first two exhibitions but feels ready to play, if the coaches allow it. Jones participated in 11-on-11 drills during Thursday's practice and showed his typical explosion.

Gabriel, also sidelined the first two exhibitions coming off a lower-leg injury, looked to have his explosiveness back, too, and had a few reps in 11-on-11 drills during Thursday's practice.

Quinn previously ruled out rookie defensive back Damontae Kazee, who tweaked an ankle in the last exhibition. Also ruled out were offensive tackle Austin Pasztor (pectoral), cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson (undisclosed) and defensive end Martin Ifedi.