Arthur Smith on Clark Phillips: ‘We have a lot of confidence in Clark’

The Atlanta Falcons (4-5) will be without one of the key members of their secondary when they face the Arizona Cardinals (1-8) in Week 10. Nickel cornerback Dee Alford has been ruled out of Sunday’s game due to an ankle injury.

The team will look to Mike Hughes and rookie Clark Phillips III to fill in for Alford on Sunday. Phillips, a fourth-round pick out of Utah, has only appeared in four games this season.

The rookie has played exclusively played on special teams, but it’s likely we see him taking some reps on defense this weekend. Falcons head coach Arthur Smith is confident that Phillips can get the job done.

“We have a lot of confidence in Clark,” Smith told reporters on Friday after Alford was ruled out for Week 10.

Phillips was considered a steal in the fourth round due to his versatility and NFL readiness. However, he hasn’t gotten much playing time this season due to the team’s improved depth at defensive back.

Alford is having a great year, plus Jeff Okudah, Jessie Bates, Tre Flowers and Mike Hughes were all added over the offseason. This has made it tough for the rookie to get playing time.

Along with Alford, the Falcons have ruled out wide receiver Mack Hollins for Sunday’s game against the Cardinals. Defensive lineman David Onyemata was listed as questionable on the official injury report.

Story originally appeared on Falcons Wire