Steven Jackson has a history of “soft-tissue” injuries, and after a right hamstring injury slowed him down last season it looks like the left one is already creating some issues for him this year:
Steven Jackson has a left hamstring injury. #Falcons according to Coach Smith
— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) July 29, 2014
Hopefully this doesn’t prove to be as big of an issue as last season’s injury was, as he missed four games and averaged a career-low 3.5 yards per carry.
I’d be cautious to blame all of his struggles last season on injuries however, because he was trying to run with one of the more poor offensive lines in the league. Either way, the pick up of Florida State running back Devonta Freeman in the fourth round of this year’s draft is looking like a solid move.
If Jackson continues to struggle to get on the field, Freeman and Jacquizz Rodgers should be the most obvious players to see a rise in touches. Fortunately for the Hawks, both of these players show promise and can offer a bit more versatility out of the backfield as pass catchers.
The ideal situation however would obviously be to get Jackson healthy and on the field regularly. Just a few years ago he was regarded as one of the most consistent, quality running backs in the league. I think he’s still got the ability to be a game-changing player, but the constant injuries and age (he turned 31 this year) don’t make me want to bet on it.