Monday December 15th, 2014

The Atlanta Falcons will place cornerback Robert Alford on injured reserve after a follow-up exam revealed he needs surgery on his broken wrist, the team announced Monday.

Alford, 26, broke his wrist in Week 11, but the team was hopeful he would be able to return without needing surgery.

The Falcons drafted Alford in the second round of the 2013 draft, and he started all ten of the games he played in this season. He had 31 tackles, 11 passes defended and three interceptions this season.

• KING: Examining winners and losers from Week 15

Atlanta is No. 32 against the pass this season and also No. 32 in total yards allowed. The Falcons have lost two straight games and three of their last four.

Despite their 5-9 record, the Falcons are still in playoff contention in the NFC South. They are in third place behind the Carolina Panthers (5-8-1) and New Orleans Saints (5-8).

Atlanta closes the regular season with a road game against the Saints on Sunday and a home date with the Panthers on Dec. 28.

• NIESEN: 2014 Broncos: Reinvention, or adjusting after last year?

- Paul Palladino

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