<
>

Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant sidelined with shoulder strain

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant suffered a shoulder strain and is expected to miss Friday night's exhibition opener against the Tennessee Titans, coach Dan Quinn said.

Trufant watched from the sideline the last two days as the team went through light practices. There was no immediate indication that Trufant was injured.

"He strained his shoulder, so we're kind of taking it day by day with him,'' Quinn said. "And hopefully, we'll have him back in the next couple of days.''

Trufant is the team's top cornerback and a key figure in the Falcons' revamped defense. He and fellow starter Robert Alford continue to grow together while facing the likes of Julio Jones and Roddy White in practice.

Although Quinn stopped short of saying Trufant is out Friday, the coach said the team is leaning in that direction. If Trufant is sidelined, as expected, Phillip Adams would likely start alongside Alford in the base defense with Alford, Adams, and emerging rookie Kevin White all on the field in the nickel package.

Rookie second-round pick Jalen Collins continues to fight his way up the depth chart. Based on the alignment during recent practices, Collins continues to run with the backups and hasn't been used in the nickel package with the first-team defense. Collins admitted he has struggled at times while making the transition to the pro level.

Outside of Trufant, running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman are expected to miss Friday's game with hamstring strains. Outside linebacker Brooks Reed continues to nurse a groin injury he suffered during training camp but expects to be ready for Week 1 of the regular season. Reed said he does not need surgery. And defensive lineman Cliff Matthews remains out with an ankle injury.

Quinn said offensive linemen Jake Matthews (Lisfranc foot) and Joe Hawley (ACL/MCL) are expected to see action Friday although both are coming off major surgeries.