Atlanta Falcons superstar cornerback Desmond Trufant is hinting that he could return to the field THIS SEASON should the team make a deep run in the playoffs ... but it's a MAJOR long shot.
Trufant landed in L.A. early Tuesday -- after the team placed him on injured reserve due to a bad pectoral injury. He's expected to undergo surgery either today or Wednesday.
Here's the thing ... when we asked him if there was a shot he could come back this season, he didn't say no ... instead telling us, "We'll see."
We looked into it and technically there's a chance. Our NFL sources tell us he'd be eligible to return for the Super Bowl if the team makes it that far ... AND if the Falcons don't pull any other player off the IR before then.
However, our Falcons sources tell us it's HIGHLY UNLIKELY ... because the surgery typically sidelines players for several months and the odds of Trufant being healthy enough to play by Feb. 5 are slim.
Still, we're told the guy has a crazy work ethic and at the very least should be back killin' it for the Falcons next season.
Roddy White says race was DEFINITELY a factor when a white cop put his hand on his gun in an aggressive manner during a routine traffic stop in Georgia Wednesday -- and now he wants an apology.
The ex-ATL Falcons star spoke with TMZ Sports about the incident -- claiming his heart was racing when the officer "unbuttoned the strap on his gun and he put his hand on his gun" and began walking toward his car.
Roddy said he questioned the cop about his actions -- at first, the cops cited police procedure ... but then said, "It's my procedure. I do what I want."
Roddy says he's already spoken with police and was told 2 cops had been ambushed during traffic stops this week ... and that could explain why the cop was gun-ready.
But White says he's not buying it for this particualr situation -- and says he wants to speak with the officer to get a personal explanation. He also wants an apology.
As for the cops, the DeKalb County PD tells TMZ Sports the officer involved was "floored" when he heard about White's allegations and denies doing anything wrong.
The cops say they still invite White to file a formal complaint.
NFL linebacker Torrey Green says he is completely innocent in all 4 sexual assault cases -- but wants to apologize to the Atlanta Falcons for the "distraction" his legal issues have caused.
TMZ Sports broke the story ... the former Utah State standout is being investigated for allegedly raping several women in 2015. The Falcons cut him Thursday as soon as they learned about the allegations.
Green has hired a crisis manager -- Zack Teperman of ZTPR -- who says he's 100% confident Green will not only be exonerated, but continue his NFL career.
"Our client Torrey Green would like to apologize to Arthur Blank, Dan Quinn, Jeff Ulbrich and the entire Falcons organization for this distraction and the unfortunate accusations," Teperman says.
"At this time Torrey has complete faith that any further investigation will prove his complete innocence and he will be exonerated."
"It's a shame his name is being dragged out there in the media and that this young man’s bright future in the NFL is taking a major hit."
"Torrey will continue to cooperate with authorities if needed, and looks forward to his next NFL opportunity. We will have no further comment at this time."
4:15 PM PT -- A rep for the Cache County District Attorney's office confirmed Green is being investigated for ANOTHER sexual assault incident, making it 4 total.
10:55 AM PT -- Falcons owner Arthur Blank addressed the Green situation Thursday morning at training camp ... saying, "we don't want anybody connected to the organization who has those kind of accusations against them."
7:09 AM PT-- The Atlanta Falcons have cut Torrey Green. Our NFL sources tell us his release is directly related to the ongoing rape and sexual assault investigations.
An Atlanta Falcons rookie linebacker is at the center of TWO separate rape investigations ... after two different women told cops he sexually assaulted them while he was a star player at Utah State.
TMZ Sports has learned ... the Cache County Attorney's Office in Utah is actively investigating Torrey Green -- a 6'2", 220 pounder who signed a free agent contract with the Falcons back in April.
INCIDENT #1 (January 14, 2015) -- The accuser claims Green took her back to his apartment, pushed her onto the bed, removed her pants and began to have sex with her against her will.
The accuser told cops she was VERY clear to Green she did not want to have sex ... telling him, "Please stop, I don't want to do this" ... but he "went for it" anyway.
After the incident, the woman claims Green said to her, "You aren't the kinda girl that would report rape? Because that would ruin my career."
The woman went to the Utah State sexual assault center that same night and nurses administered a rape kit.
Green told cops the woman is lying -- insisting he stopped his sexual advances when she "hesitated" ... and says he would never have sex with anyone against their will.
INCIDENT #2 (Nov. 21, 2015) -- A different woman claims she and Green had been drinking a lot at a party when he took her to a room, locked the door and begged her to have sex.
The woman says she remembers saying "No" and trying to leave the room, but the door was locked. Next thing she knows, Green is on top of her, her pants were off and she was in pain.
The woman got a rape kit and went to police, but cops say she stopped being cooperative. The case has been kicked over to the D.A. anyway.
There was a 3rd incident involving a 3rd woman ... who claims she was also sexually assaulted by Green in November ... when he groped her several times against her will. She also went to police.
We spoke with Jacob Gordon, a prosecutor in the Cache County District Attorney's office, who told us all the cases are being reviewed for possible charges -- so far, a decision has not been made.
We reached out to Green multiple times over several days -- but have not heard back.
Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank has just revealed he's been diagnosed with prostate cancer -- but says he's battling like hell ... and vows to defeat it.
73-year-old Blank says he was diagnosed in December -- and has since visited with several doctors and hospitals to come up with the best battle plan.
Blank -- who co-founded The Home Depot in 1978 -- says he has chosen an "aggressive approach" which will require surgery -- and the overall prognosis is good.
"I’m looking forward to getting this behind me and continuing a very active lifestyle, my upcoming wedding, as well as continued active involvement in our businesses and philanthropic efforts for years to come."
Another milestone for Brian Banks -- the football star who made it to the NFL after proving he was wrongly convicted of rape ... 'cause TMZ Sports has learned he's getting married ... TOMORROW!!!
Brian's story is incredible ... he was a high school football superstar who spent 5 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Then, after he proved his accuser made the whole thing up, he battled his way in to the Atlanta Falcons training camp in 2013 and actually played in some pre-season games!
Now, we've learned... the 29-year-old is all set to tie the knot with his fiancee Emmy -- and it's all going down in Vegas. The two have been together for 3 years.
We're told the ceremony will be pretty small -- just close friends and family -- but there will be a few famous faces in the crowd ... including NFL insider Jay Glazer and former UFC fighter Frank Trigg.
And get this ... Banks became close with an officer in the Navy during some of the USO/NFL tours he did recently ... and we're told the officer has a cool gift in store for Brian.
He's going to fly the USA flag over Camp Lemonnier during the moment of Brian's "I Do's" ... and told Brian it's because, "Lives with meaning like yours are worth fighting for. You deserve the best."
Jay Glazer says the NFL went WAY TOO HARD on the Atlanta Falcons -- claiming a $350k fine and a docked 2016 draft pick was a crazy overreaction for illegally piping crowd noise into their stadium during games.
The "NFL on FOX" star was leaving Craig's in West Hollywood Monday night when he told us Roger Goodell and his crew could've handled the situation a lot better ... if RG woulda just picked up the phone and called the owner.
"Just call em up ... say, 'Knock it off! Enough! Just don't do it!'"
Instead, Glazer says ... the NFL went way over-the-top and clearly Jay feels it's damaging the league.
"Not everything has to be a freakin' congressional hearing. You don't need a big investigation into everything."
As far as the Falcons go ... team officials said the noise scandal was "embarrassing" and they will not appeal the punishment.