Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant is set to have season-ending surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle and was placed on injured reserve Tuesday.
He has been replaced in the lineup by Jalen Collins in the past two games against Philadelphia and Arizona.
The Falcons (7-4) are in control of the NFC South and set to face the Kansas City Chiefs (8-3) at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Georgia Dome.
In addition to placing Trufant on injured reserve, the Falcons waived punter Matt Wile and signed center Trevor Robinson and cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson to the 53-man roster.
The Falcons also signed offensive lineman Kevin Graf to the practice squad.
Trufant has surgery scheduled for Thursday to repair a torn pectoral muscle.
Opponents targeted Trufant fewer times than any cornerback in the NFL last season, when he earned his first Pro Bowl selection.
Trufant’s replacement, Collins, will be tasked with regularly covering opposing wide receivers with little or no help.
Collins replaced him in the starting lineup and generally has played well since. Quinn said he was most pleased with Collins’ competitiveness against the Cardinals.
“He had really difficult matchups on a number of good players and he just kept responding,” Quinn said. “We are anxious to see where he goes but, for me, his arrow is certainly trending up.”
The Falcons selected Collins in the second round of the 2015 draft out of LSU and his size/speed combination seemed to make him a good fit for Quinn’s defense. But Collins struggled in coverage as a rookie and then missed the first four games of this season because of a violation of the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
The Falcons didn’t activate Collins for the first two games after he was eligible to return. He played solely on special teams in the Week 7 loss to the Chargers and then was back on the inactive list for Week 8.
Now the Falcons are counting on Collins to fill in for their best cornerback.
Robinson was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals following the 2012 draft out of Notre Dame. The Nebraska native spent two years with the Bengals, until he was signed by the San Diego Chargers off of Cincinnati’s practice squad in 2014. Robinson spent two seasons with the Chargers.
Wreh-Wilson was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the third round of the 2013 draft out of Connecticut. The past three seasons, Wreh-Wilson has played in 34 games with 14 starts and has recorded 73 tackles, one interception, and one forced fumble.