Cornerback Desmond Trufant, who missed the past four games with a turf-toe injury, is set to return when the Falcons (2-7) face the Panthers (5-4) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
“It’s been a long process,” Trufant said Friday. “I’ve been working on it consistently, but now I’m at a point where I feel good. I feel like myself. I’m ready to go get it.”
Trufant, the team’s top cornerback, has five tackles, four pass breakups and two interceptions.
With Trufant out, rookie Kendall Sheffield has started the past four games at left cornerback. He slid inside in the nickel defense, and Blidi Wreh-Wilson took over at left corner.
Trufant was close to playing last week against the Saints.
“I was close, but at my position, I can’t play with stuff like that,” Trufant said. “That’s all we live by, how our feet work and change directions. But I feel good, and I’m ready to go.”
The Panthers average 215.1 passing yards per game, which ranks 23rd in the NFL.
Wide receiver D.J. Moore leads the Panthers with 54 receptions for 684 yards. Wide receiver Curtis Samuel leads the Panthers in touchdown receptions with four. Tight end Greg Olsen and running back Christian McCaffrey are also pass-catching threats.
“They are solid,” Trufant said. “They’ve got some deep threats. They’ve got some intermediate guys. Olsen has been doing it a long time. McCaffrey comes out the backfield and makes plays, too, in the passing game. They’ve got a lot of threats. We know these guys.”
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