Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn said cornerback Jalen Collins, who was suspended for the first 10 games of the regular season for a second violation of the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances, is likely to see less time in the next exhibition.
Collins, a second-round draft pick in 2015 from LSU, played 31 snaps on defense and four on special teams in the Falcons' 23-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night. Although he almost had an interception and deflected a pass, Collins also had poor man technique on a play that resulted in a 99-yard touchdown hookup from fourth-string Dolphins quarterback David Fales to third-string receiver Damore'ea Stringfellow.
"Really tough week for Jalen," Quinn said. "From the suspension, and then not playing well in [Thursday night's] game. He probably played a little more than we anticipated going in. But when we pulled a couple of the guys who we had an evaluation on, that's where his plays got extended."
Quinn said earlier in the week he remains undecided about Collins' future on the 53-man roster, with the Falcons having the option to release him at any time. But as Atlanta moves closer to the season, the coaches have to prepare the players who will be available to provide cornerback depth. As a result of the 10-game suspension without pay, Collins, who was demoted to third string, obviously won't be one of those guys. C.J. Goodwin and Deji Olatoye are currently the backups behind Trufant and Alford as outside corners, with nickelback Brian Poole another immediate option outside.
"I'll take it on a week-to-week basis," Quinn said of Collins' preseason playing time with three more games remaining. "But it will be, I would think, a little less as we're heading into the next game [Aug. 20 at Pittsburgh]. But ... the whole week for him has been a difficult one from getting suspended, to [Thursday night's] performance. So we're hopeful to see if he can reset."
Collins is slated to count $1,447,856 against the salary cap this season. Cutting him would save $344,098 against this year's cap.
Team rosters have to be cut from 90 to 53 by Sept. 2, with only one cutdown date now instead of two.
The Falcons always stress "brotherhood," and haven't turned their backs on Collins despite his repeated mistakes. Collins did not share the details of what led to his second suspension in two years.
"He's still a brother, no matter what it is," two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Dontari Poe said. "I'm with him. He's been a cool dude since I got here, so anything he needs, I'm with him."