The Atlanta Falcons and the NFL announced that cornerback Jalen Collins is set to serve a four-game suspension to kick off the 2016 season due to a violation of the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy. The exact circumstances and/or substances that caused Collins’ to fail his drug test are unknown.
Collins, 23, was drafted by the Falcons last year in the second round out of LSU. He missed much of is first spring with the Falcons dealing with a broken foot and then struggled throughout the preseason.
He began the season as the team’s fourth cornerback behind starters Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford and nickel cornerback Phillip Adams before taking over the nickel duties in Week Seven. Collins held that role for six weeks before the Falcons opted to return to Adams for the final four games. Collins finished his rookie season with two starts in 16 games, recording 12 tackles on defense and five on special teams.
Collins will be able to participate in the team’s offseason activities, training camp and preseason games before beginning to serve his suspension the first week of the regular season.
The Falcons are exceptionally thin at the cornerback spot where DeMarcus Van Dyke and Akeem King are the only reserves behind Trufant and Alford. The team could re-sign Adams, who is currently a free agent.