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Dan Quinn: Desmond Trufant to be held out of OTAs as precaution

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Dan Quinn: Desmond Trufant to be held out of OTAs as precaution

Vaughn McClure

Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn said one-time Pro Bowl cornerback Desmond Trufant, who underwent season-ending pectoral surgery back in the winter, will be held out of offseason workouts as a precaution.

Trufant initially suffered the injury in a Nov. 3 win at Tampa Bay. He visited the doctors for a second opinion during the week of Nov. 29 and then followed up with the surgery. Such a procedure typically involves three to four months of recovery.

"Trufant is coming along great,'' Quinn responded at the NFC coaches breakfast in Phoenix. "We won't have him practice during [organized team activities (OTAs)], but by the time we get to training camp, he'll be ready to go and battle.''

The Falcons are scheduled to begin the offseason workout program April 17.

Trufant's return and anticipated full recovery is expected to enhance the defense going into the 2017 season, although Jalen Collins did an admirable job stepping in for Trufant this past season. The Falcons could move forward with Trufant and Collins playing outside in nickel situations with No. 2 cornerback Robert Alford then pushed inside to cover the slot.

Trufant is on the verge of a lucrative contract extension expected to pay between $12 million and $15 million per year. The team exercised the fifth-year option on his rookie deal, meaning the former first-round draft pick from Washington is currently scheduled to make $8.026 million this coming season.

"Tru is our No. 1 priority,'' Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said of Trufant. "That doesn't mean he's going to be the first [extension] done, of course. But that should [happen] during this spring sometime.''

In other injury news, Quinn addressed the status of several other players, including Julio Jones. The star wide receiver had a bunion removed from his left foot and faced four to five months of recovery following his March 6 surgery. Jones told ESPN that everything was on schedule for a training camp return.

Quinn agreed.

"Julio's doing good,'' Quinn said. "He had surgery on his foot, and that part is coming along really well -- the strengthening of his toe and the foot. Like most surgeries, the first part is the healing, and then comes the strengthening. He's starting to get into the strengthening phase now.''

Quinn spoke about defensive end Adrian Clayborn coming off of a biceps tear and defensive lineman Derrick Shelby coming off of an Achilles tear.

"Adrian Clayborn ... he's doing well,'' Quinn said. "And then Derrick Shelby had an Achilles injury like the fifth week of the year. He looks good physically. He's actually changed his body. ... He looks different as a guy walking around. You can see the size, the strength. He looks great. .... All of them are in different phases of their rehab, but all we anticipate being fully ready.''

Starting right tackle Ryan Schraeder just got cleared to start running again after tearing a ligament in his right ankle during the Super Bowl. Starting center Alex Mack (fractured fibula), running back Tevin Coleman (ankle) and safety Kemal Ishmael (shoulder) are other key players coming off of injuries.

The Falcons have to forfeit the first three days of OTAs this year for violating the NFL-NFLPA rules prohibiting excessive contact during offseason workouts last season.



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