<
>

Desmond Trufant says Falcons' D will let play do talking vs. 49ers

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Of course Desmond Trufant was aware of the word coming out of San Francisco about the 49ers wanting to playing new starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert against a weak Atlanta defense.

The Atlanta Falcons cornerback just laughed it off Wednesday as the team continued preparation for Sunday's road matchup.

"That stuff is funny to me," Trufant said. "They can think what they want to think. That's fine. We'll see on Sunday. We'll see then what's up."

Trufant was asked if he knew anything about Gabbert.

"Nah, I don't know none of them," he said. "We'll see though on Sunday."

Individually, Trufant wants to have a bounce-back game after a few uncharacteristic mistakes in last week's 23-20 overtime loss to Tampa Bay. He said he plans to play against the 49ers despite suffering a lower back injury against the Buccaneers, an injury that limited his participation during Wednesday's practice.

"I know I definitely didn't play my best game," Trufant said of Tampa Bay. "And I got hurt, too, so I couldn't make up for it like I wanted to. In the fourth quarter and overtime, I know I could have done something. But sometimes it goes like that, and I'm going to just come harder this week."

No one play against the Buccaneers bothered Trufant more than any other, although he picked up consecutive pass interference penalties in the third quarter while contending with Bucs receiver Mike Evans.

"It was just the overall, because my standard is being great," Trufant said. "If I'm not playing like one of the best, it's not good enough. That's how I look at it. I'm just going to keep working and I'm going to come harder out there this week."

Teammate Roddy White put a little added pressure on the defense by saying it should get two turnovers against Gabbert, who has thrown 24 interceptions and 23 touchdown passes in his career. The Falcons didn't create a turnover last week and have 12 takeaways as opposed to 14 giveaways this season (-2). Trufant does not have an interception through eight games, although the ball hasn't come his way much.

"They're going to come, and we're going to see what happens," Trufant said of the 49ers. "They can talk all they want to. I know it's between the whistles. That's when we're going to get busy. So, we'll see."

If Trufant plays, as he expects to, he'll likely be without fellow starting cornerback Robert Alford, who was held out of Wednesday's practice along with fellow secondary starter William Moore as both nurse groin injuries. Moore missed last week's game and was replaced by Kemal Ishmael. Alford's role as the nickel cornerback could be filled by Philip Adams. Rookie Jalen Collins has been playing outside opposite Trufant with Alford covering the slot.

As for the reported disrespect from the 49ers, Falcons coach Dan Quinn downplayed any such thing as bulletin-board material and said "We'll be ready to rock" on Sunday. Quinn got his NFL coaching start with San Francisco back in 2001.