NFL roundup: Devonta Freeman in concussion protocol

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Devonta Freeman
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Devonta Freeman /

Devonta Freeman is one of the best running backs in the NFL, but he has been ruled out this weekend against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

During the offseason, a lot of news revolved around Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman getting a new deal prior to the 2017 NFL season. Freeman inked a five-year extension with the team, worth $41.25 million, which was well deserved considering he is one of the best backs in the NFL. However, he will be ruled out for this weekend’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers as he is currently in concussion protocol.

James Harrison returned to said Steelers for another go at a Super Bowl title, and at 39 years old, he has definitely defied Father Time during his NFL career. However, he will be used in more of a relief role this season, as rookie T.J. Watt will start opposite Bud Dupree at outside linebacker. Watt was the Steelers’ first round pick in this past April’s NFL Draft, and has the size and speed to be a real difference-maker on defense for Pittsburgh in his rookie year.

Staying with the linebackers, it appears Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Denzel Perryman will miss at least four games to start the season. Perryman injured his ankle during the team’s blowout loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night, and some feared he would be out the entire season. The third-year backer was supposed to call the plays for the defense this season, so losing him is a rough blow for the Chargers in their first season in Los Angeles.

Rookie John Ross is finally in action, as he participated in his first practice on Monday. The speedy wideout from Washington went through 11-on-11 drills for the Cincinnati Bengals, showcasing the talent that made him a first-round pick in April. Ross had shoulder surgery this past March, and has been out of action since, but a combination of him and A.J. Green could really stretch the field for the Bengals this season.

Next: NFL 2017 power rankings post Preseason Week 1

Finally, it looks like Jay Cutler will be making his Miami Dolphins debut very soon. The former Chicago Bears quarterback was signed by the Dolphins after Ryan Tannehill re-injured his left knee during the first week of training camp. Cutler will likely get the start this Thursday when the Dolphins take on the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2 preseason action.