FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - The Atlanta Falcons are placing running back Devonta Freeman on injured reserve with a groin injury.
The team made the announcement Tuesday, another major setback in its injury plagued season.
One of the NFL's highest-paid running backs, Freeman is the fifth Atlanta player to go on injured reserve this season. He follows safeties Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen, linebacker Deion Jones and offensive guard Andy Levitre.
Freeman has slowed by a variety of injuries the last two seasons. This year, he missed three games with a bruised knee sustained in a season-opening loss at Philadelphia. When he returned for a game at Pittsburgh, he went down with a foot injury and also was bothered by groin soreness.
The Falcons didn't think the groin problem was serious, but further tests showed Freeman needs a surgical procedure. The team is hopeful he will be able to return late in the season.