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As RB Steven Jackson nurses hamstring injury, Atlanta turns to Rodgers, Freeman, Smith

Falcons Friday Night Lights Football-1.jpg

Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (33) carries the ball during Friday Night Lights, at Archer High School on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, in Lawrenceville, Ga. The Falcons continued their tradition of staging a practice at an area high school each year. (AP Photo/Jason Getz) (The Associated Press)

With Steven Jackson out injured, the Atlanta Falcons need Jacquizz Rodgers, Devonta Freeman and Antone Smith to fill the void.

It's a tough assignment considering how the run game has fallen from 17th in 2011 to 29th in 2012 to worst in the NFL last season.

Jackson, the NFL's active career leading rusher, missed four games with a left hamstring injury and finished his first year as a Falcon with 543 yards rushing and 3.5 per carry — the lowest numbers of his 10-season tenure.

For the past several days, Jackson has been nursing a right hamstring injury, putting his three backups in competition for snaps.

Rodgers and Freeman are splitting work with the starters while Smith is working with the second and third teams.


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