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Falcons’ Desmond Trufant questionable to return with shoulder injury

September 11, 2016: Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant (21) picks off a pass for an interception during the first half of the game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers defeat the Falcons 31 - 24 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA. (Photos by Frank Mattia/Iconsports Wire)
Frank Mattia/Icon Sportswire

Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant, who left in the second quarter of the team’s Thursday night game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a left shoulder injury, is questionable to return.

Prior to his departure, Trufant was having a tough time containing Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans. According to Pro Football Focus, Evans had five catches for 46 yards and a touchdown when matched up with Trufant through less than two quarters. As of halftime, the entire defense has struggled with Evans, allowing the receiver two touchdowns and 77 receiving yards on seven receptions.

Trufant had four tackles before leaving with his injury. On the season he has 26 tackles, two sacks, an interception, and a forced fumble in his fourth year in the league. Last season, Trufant made the first Pro Bowl of his career after recording 42 tackles, a sack, and an interception for the Falcons.

Later in the quarter, the Buccaneers defense took a hit of its own with Kwon Alexander exiting the game with an apparent right shoulder injury. The second-year linebacker had four tackles in the first half. Tampa Bay has not yet announced the severity of the injury or the likelihood of Alexander’s return.

Entering Thursday’s matchup against Tampa Bay, the Falcons are leading the NFC South with a 5-3 record on the season with Tampa Bay and the New Orleans Saints tied for second at 3-4. As of this writing, Atlanta is leading by a score of 20-14 at halftime. A win would be a huge boost to their chances at winning the division for the first time since 2012.

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