Niners’ Shanahan: Giants Getting ‘Helluva Player’ in Devonta Freeman

New York Giants, Devonta Freeman
Sep 24, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (24) runs and points toward the sideline after scoring a touchdown during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants (0-2) host the San Francisco 49ers (1-1) at MetLife Stadium this Sunday afternoon in a game where both teams will be down several key players to injury.

The 49ers had five key starters go down against the Jets at MetLife last Sunday. Defensive lineman Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas both blew out ACLs and are gone for the season. Running backs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman suffered knee injuries and quarterback Jimmy Garappolo (ankle) aren’t likely to face the Giants this week. In addition, linebacker Dee Ford (back) is out and All-Pro tight end George Kittle (knee) is questionable for this week.

The Giants lost stud running back Saquon Barkley for the season to a torn ACL and starting wide receiver Sterling Shepard was placed on IR with an ailing toe.

To help defray the loss of Barkley, the Giants signed two-time Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman to their roster. Freeman, an all-around back who rushed for 1,000 yards twice in his career, will join Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman in what will likely be a committee approach in the Giants’ backfield.

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan knows Freeman very well, having coached him in Atlanta as their offensive coordinator during Freeman’s two Pro Bowl seasons (2015-16).

“They’re getting a hell of a player and a hell of a guy,” Shanahan told reporters on Wednesday. ” I love (RB Devonta Freeman), hell of a pickup for you guys at this time of year. He’s a really good runner, he’s really good out of the backfield as a receiver and a great teammate to have around.”

Freeman had a lost 2018 season due to multiple injuries and went unsigned this spring after having a bounce back season last year in Atlanta.