Desmond Trufant, the Falcons’ top cornerback, was ruled out of Sunday’s big game against Minnesota on Friday by coach Dan Quinn.
Trufant remains in the NFL concussion-protocol program. He was hit by teammate Keanu Neal in the 34-20 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday.
“We’re in good shape from a health standpoint,” Quinn said. “Just good to have (running back Devonta) Freeman back and getting full speed work for him going all the way through the process. Good to see (kicker) Matt Bryant doing his thing. He looked great today. One person that will be out for the game and is still in the protocol is (Desmond) Trufant.”
Brian Poole (back) returned to practice and is expected to play in the game. He also was injured against the Bucs, and Ricardo Allen moved to nickel back.
C.J. Goodwin took over at left cornerback for Trufant. Quinn said earlier in the week that Poole could play outside if needed.
He wouldn’t address who would start for Trufant against the Vikings.
“We’re going to wait and let you know that on the day of the game,” Quinn said.
Poole has played exclusively at nickel back and did not practice this week until Friday.
“Just the speed that Brian plays with,” Quinn said is what he wanted to see in Poole’s return to practice. “He’s such a smart player. I wanted to make sure that he could do all of the things that make him unique. It was great to see him do his full stuff.”
Goodwin played 47 of 71 (66 percent) of the defensive snaps against the Bucs. Rookie Damontae Kazee, who went to free safety for Allen against the Bucs, played 32 snaps (45 percent).
“I like the speed and length that (Goodwin) plays with,” Quinn said. “To have a corner that long and that tall. He can get his hands on guys and he has the speed to match the people. That’s what makes him so unique not just on teams, but when we play him outside as well.”
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