FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Less than a week after getting a massive contract extension, Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman left practice on Sunday after likely suffering from heat-related issues.
Freeman could be seen working through individual and position group drills, but then he left the field and did not return. Sunday was the team's first practice since their 23-20 preseason loss to the Miami Dolphins on Thursday. The temperature at the team's headquarters was in the upper 80s Sunday morning.
"He had some heat stuff that he dealt with in the first practice," head coach Dan Quinn said. "I didn’t get a chance to go in and see him yet but I’ll find out."
Freeman was supposed to speak with the media on Sunday, and it was delayed because he was receiving an IV. Freeman's session was eventually canceled because he was still with trainers before team meetings.
Freeman had a touchdown catch on the Falcons' first drive against the Dolphins, the only drive in which the offensive starters played.
He recently inked a five-year extension to his contract reportedly worth more than $41 million, making him the highest-paid running back in the NFL.
Quinn said Freeman handled himself well during the long negotiation process. Before Thursday's game, Freeman was hoping to play more snaps than just the first series.
"He’s such a competitor, he wanted to play the whole game on the other night," Quinn said. "He said, 'I want the whole thing.' I said, ‘Good idea, but no.’ We got some other guys we’re trying to take a look at, as well. That tells you the mindset of where he’s at."
Last season, Freeman had 1,079 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. He also had 54 receptions and two touchdown receptions.
Receiver Julio Jones returned to full 11-on-11 drills on Sunday after being limited at the start of camp after having foot surgery. Jack Crawford and Taylor Gabriel also returned.
Jermaine Grace and Martin Ifedi each were limited on Sunday. Grace has a strained hamstring. Ifiedi has an ankle injury.
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