Falcons starting cornerback Robert Alford is expected to miss two to four weeks with a fractured wrist, coach Mike Smith said Monday.
Alford left Sunday’s game at Carolina after nine plays and did not return. The Falcons (4-6) have six games remaining in the regular season.
“This isn’t a long-term injury,” Smith said. “When you start talking about fractures and broken bones, it can be splintered and protected and there’s no risk of further damage.”
With Alford out, veteran Robert McClain is set to start opposite Desmond Trufant. McClain played 57 of 66 defensive snaps against the Panthers.
The Falcons signed McClain in Jan. 2012 after he’d been released by the Jaguars in December 2011. McClain emerged as the fifth defensive back in the “nickel” package that season and served in the same role for most of 2013.
“He’s an experienced guy who studies the game extremely hard and we anticipate he will go out there and get the job done,” Smith said.
The Falcons selected Alford in the second round of the 2013 draft our of Southeast Louisiana. He eventually replaced Asante Samuel in the starting lineup for four games that season as the Falcons focused on playing several young players down the stretch.