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Devonta Freeman to play Sunday after 3-game absence

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons two-time Pro Bowl running back Devonta Freeman, sidelined the past three games due to a right knee contusion, will play in Sunday's matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Thursday that Freeman will play. Freeman said Wednesday that he was comfortable enough to return to action.

"I'm in-tune with my body and myself, so I know when I can be me,'' Freeman told reporters Wednesday. "Just getting back out there when I'm comfortable enough. I think right now, I'm comfortable enough to get out there. I feel good. I feel explosive. I'm ready to run.''

Freeman injured the posterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in the same knee during last year's regular-season finale, although he did not undergo surgery. He re-injured the knee after playing 39 snaps in the Falcons' 18-12 season-opening loss at Philadelphia.

Freeman returned to practice in a limited role last week but was inactive against Cincinnati.

"I feel good,'' Freeman said. "I feel real good, excited, about being out here. Coming out doing something I love to do is always a good time. I'm just excited to be out here.''

Tevin Coleman started at running back the last three games with rookie Ito Smith as the backup. The Falcons have found success in the past with the two-headed attack of Freeman and Coleman, with offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian even using them as the same time, on occasion. The Falcons currently rank 21st in the league with an average of 96 rushing yards per game.

The Falcons are 1-3 heading into the matchup with the 1-2-1 Steelers. The Steelers allow 115.8 rushing yards per game, which ranks tied for 21st in the league.