Desmond Trufant out of concussion protocol

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The Falcons should have cornerback Desmond Trufant in the lineup for Thursday’s game against the Saints.

Trufant did not play against the Vikings on Sunday because of a concussion, but coach Dan Quinn announced on Monday that Trufant has been cleared from the concussion protocol. Barring any other issues in the next couple of days, Trufant will return to the starting lineup with Robert Alford as the Falcons try to trip up the Saints.

The Falcons also played without third corner Brian Poole due to a back injury. There’s no word yet on Poole’s chances of returning to action this time around.

Thursday’s game is a big one for the Falcons, who dropped to 7-5 and seventh in a six-team NFC playoff field with their loss to the Vikings. A fully staffed secondary would be a big help to getting a win and Monday’s news moves them closer to getting there.