FILe - In this Sept. 6, 2018, file photo, Atlanta Falcons' Devonta Freeman (24) tries to evade Philadelphia Eagles' Michael Bennett (77) during the first half of an NFL football game, in Philadelphia. Freeman, who has missed three straight games with a sore right knee, is expected back this week, just in time to give the Atlanta Falcons a much-needed boost as they prepare to play at Pittsburgh.(AP Photo/Michael Perez, File)

Falcons RB Freeman cleared to return after missing 3 games

October 03, 2018 - 1:02 pm

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Running back Devonta Freeman has been cleared to play after missing three games with a sore right knee, giving the Atlanta Falcons an important boost as they prepare to visit the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Coach Dan Quinn confirmed Wednesday that Freeman, the team's leading rusher each of the last three years, has full clearance to practice.

Atlanta's defense, meanwhile, will be without four starters against the Steelers. Quinn says defensive tackle Grady Jarrett will be held out with an ankle sprain suffered late in last week's 37-36 loss to Cincinnati.

The Falcons' defense already has lost starting safeties Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen to season-ending injuries and linebacker Deion Jones for at least eight weeks. Offensive guard Andy Levitre also is on IR.

The Falcons (1-3) have lost two straight games.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL