Steven Jackson RB ATL 2 Days3 Comments

Steven Jackson is out indefinitely with a left hamstring injury, but is expected to be ready for Week 1.

Speaking after Tuesday's practice, coach Mike Smith claimed he didn't believe the injury was serious, but was vague on Jackson's timeline, only saying he's expected to be ready for Week 1. It's not the same hamstring that cost S-Jax four games in 2013, but it's up for debate whether that's good or bad news. No matter how serious, it's a big blow for a player who had reportedly been looking "rejuvenated." It's a reminder that Jackson's advancing age (31) and recent health woes make him a dicey RB2 in fantasy leagues. Rookie Devonta Freeman is worth a late-round flier in all formats.

Steven Jackson RB ATL 4 Days2 Comments

Steven Jackson reportedly "looks rejuvenated" early in camp.

Steven Jackson RB ATL 1 Month

ESPN Falcons reporter Vaughn McClure believes Steven Jackson "might have a battle on his hands" if Davonta Freeman looks as good in pads as he did in shorts.

Jackson will be the Week 1 starter, but he's not guaranteed a workhorse role. The 31-year-old (in July) failed to clear 4.0 yards per carry in 9-of-12 appearances last season, looking dangerously close to his career cliff. Freeman, an excellent pass protector with three-down tools, is going to be pushing for very significant snaps right away. We're not going to be investing in Jackson as a RB2.

Steven Jackson RB ATL 4 Months1 Comment

Coach Mike Smith threw support behind Steven Jackson, even though he turns 31 in July.

"Unfortunately, Steven was injured last year and we didn't really get a chance to see what he was capable of doing until the last four or five games," Smith said. Jackson tore his hamstring in Week 2. Additionally, he was running behind one of the worst lines. The Falcons added mauling RG Jon Asamoah and will get LT Sam Baker (knee) back but still need a right tackle. Jackson averaged just 3.5 YPC in 2013. Atlanta is expected to draft a running back.

Steven Jackson RB ATL 5 Months

Coach Mike Smith hinted at the Combine that he expects the Falcons to retain Steven Jackson for 2014.

Smith essentially gave S-Jax a pass for his 2013 hamstring tear, saying the Falcons "didn't get a chance to really see what Steven Jackson was capable of doing until the end of the season," and insisting an improved rushing attack "starts with a winning line." Jackson is not due a prohibitive offseason roster bonus, so the Falcons could conceivably roster him as long as they please and cut him after the draft or even right before Week 1. Doing so would only save $1.83 million in cap room, however. We tentatively expect S-Jax to return as the Falcons' 2014 starter.

Steven Jackson RB ATL 7 Months1 Comment

Steven Jackson rushed 16 times for 53 yards and one touchdown in Monday night's Week 16 loss to the 49ers.

Considering the defense he was going up against and the horrid offensive line Jackson has blocking for him, it was a very solid effort. Jackson continues to run hard and manages to find yards, even though the holes he gets are minuscule. He caught two passes out of the backfield for minus-four yards and was blown up twice on swing passes. One of those resulted in a questionable penalty on Donte Whitner that actually set up Jackson's two-yard touchdown. Jackson will wrap up his season next week against a stout Panthers defense.

Steven Jackson RB ATL 7 Months

Coach Mike Smith and OC Dirk Koetter both threw support behind Steven Jackson during the past week as a running back who still has juice left in the tank.

It's not particularly relevant for the final two games of Atlanta's lost season, but an indication that S-Jax stands a decent chance at returning as the Falcons' 2014 feature back. "There have been circumstances that affected (Jackson), but we're starting to see him play like we've been accustomed to," said Koetter. "He's just about over the (hamstring) and it shows." Smith said he has "no doubt" S-Jax can remain a productive back. Jackson is only owed $3 million in 2014. He still holds some Dynasty/keeper league RB2 appeal.

Steven Jackson RB ATL 8 Months

Steven Jackson rushed 15 times for 38 yards and two touchdowns in Atlanta's Week 15, 27-26 win over the Redskins.

Steven Jackson RB ATL 8 Months

Steven Jackson rushed 15 times for 71 yards and caught a nine-yard pass in the Falcons' Week 14 loss to the Packers.

Although the fantasy numbers didn't cooperate this time, S-Jax continues to improve physically on a weekly basis. He looked like a poor man's version of Eddie Lacy in this one, ripping off chain-moving runs with power and finishing them off with authority. Jackson will be a legit RB2 option when Atlanta squares off with Washington's weak defense in Week 15.

Steven Jackson RB ATL 8 Months6 Comments

Steven Jackson rushed 23 times for 84 yards with two touchdowns in Sunday's Week 13 win over the Bills.

Jackson tore through a hole in the middle for a 27-yard score in the first quarter, showing more north-south speed than we've seen all year. He also got the call on a one-yard plunge after Harry Douglas drew a pass interference call in the end zone late. But in between, S-Jax continues to struggle with lateral movement and short-area quicks. He's now averaging just 3.49 YPC on the season. Jackson will be a touchdown dependent RB2/flex against the Packers in Week 14.