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Steven Jackson reportedly likely out for Falcons

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It appears that the Atlanta Falcons will make their last stand at the Georgia Dome in 2014 sans running back Steven Jackson.

The veteran, who injured his quadriceps in Atlanta's win over the Saints, has missed two practices this week. ESPN's Vaughn McClure reports that the running back is expected to be inactive Sunday, per multiple sources.

The Falcons have yet to rule out the running back, as Jackson is officially listed as questionable. 

The winner of the Falcons-Panthers matchup Sunday will host a playoff game, with just seven victories on the season.

Jackson's likely absence will mean more backfield touches for Jacquizz Rodgers and rookie Devonta Freeman.

Freeman is the more intriguing of the two and could provide more pop than Jackson has this season. In last week's win, the rookie showed burst in a 31-yard run and caught a 36 yard pass from Matt Ryan. When Rodgers are Freeman are in the game this season the Falcons' offense runs more wide open and fluid than when the bigger Jackson was on the field.

We've thought for weeks that Freeman looked like the most explosive Falcons back on the game film. We could see more of it in the pivotal matchup Sunday against a Panthers defense allowing 115.3 yards per game on the ground.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews the biggest matchups in Week 17 and makes its picks for the last week of the season. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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