FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons’ leading defensive back Desmond Trufant may not be out for very long, however his status for Sunday’s game at Philadelphia becomes in greater doubt.
Trufant did not participate in Wednesday’s practice after suffering a shoulder injury in the first half in the Falcons 43-28 victory over Tampa Bay last Thursday. Trufant went to receive a second opinion on his shoulder, and the results were fairly optimistic.
“For the second opinion, everything went well,” Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said. “We’ll list him as day-to-day for now, and as we get closer to the end of the week, we’ll see if he can participate there. But we hope to have him back sooner than later.”
The most realistic timetable for Trufant’s return would be after the off week, which follows the game in Philadelphia. At this time, it seems unlikely that Trufant would be active for the Falcons’ road trip due to the extent of the injury and the fact that he has yet to practice this week. The Falcons play one game in a 17-day stretch, which gives one of Atlanta’s defensive leaders time to recover.
Atlanta has depended on Trufant’s expertise this season as he’s started in each of the team’s first nine games and has made a significant impact. Trufant has tallied 25 total tackles, one interception and four pass deflections.
In his absence, Atlanta will give more snaps to defensive back Jalen Collins, the second-year player out of LSU who had originally seen intermittent action. After Trufant’s injury, Collins was forced into action and Quinn has been pleased with his performance.
“We wanted to make sure that guys step up when their number is called,” Quinn said. “This year defensively, we’ve had quite a few guys take on different roles, so Jalen answered the bell. We have a lot of confidence in him, and he had a good game against Tampa Bay, highlighted by his play at the goal line.”