The Seattle Times is reporting what we already know.
I decided I would spend a few minutes and figure out what exactly this means for the Hawks.
In this image, courtesy of Wikipedia, you can see two of the four individual ligaments that comprise the syndesmotic ligament structure: The Anterior inferior tibiofibular ligament and the Posterior inferior tibiofibular ligament.
Marcus Trufant: High Ankle Sprain
A high ankle sprain is a hyperextension of the syndesmotic ligament. The syndesmotic ligament is, in fact, four ligaments. The main purpose of these ligaments is to provide stability and allow for external rotation of the ankle. Depending on the placement and severity of the strain Trufant could miss anywhere from four weeks to the rest of the playoffs. If he's able to take the field his lateral mobility will initially be limited, or to put it in football terms his ability to shadow the receivers route will be hampered. Trufant will be especially susceptible to good route runners and the double move, a fact that could make him a sitting duck against #1 receivers.
If the Hawks progress far enough into the playoffs, and if Trufant's injury heals in time for him to take the field, he still will not be able to match the high level of play expected from him. With all this in mind, it would be smart to temporarily demote Trufant to second receiver duty for the length of the postseason.
Ok, but how about next week? What can be expected out of our reserves?
Babineaux is stouter and slower than an ideal CB. He has been valuable to the Hawks as a utility player for our secondary, filling in for demoted FS Michael Boulware. Utility players pushed into regular duty, especially at a new position, are all too often exposed. If anything can be said to Babineaux's benefit it's that he seems like a hard worker and has played relatively smart considering his inexperience.
Gardner was a third round pick of the Tennessee Titans in the 2004 draft. He was waived by the Titans this year for his mediocre play and bad attitude. He's a solidly below average in almost every conceivable ability--suffice to say, I would prefer he not take the field before making a quiet exit from the Hawks' franchise.
Ross is a more tantalizing prospect. A Florida State product, he played behind college standout Bryant McFadden. His senior season was hampered by injuries causing him to fall completely off the draft boards, but the Hawks took a flyer by signing him to their practice squad. Funny thing is I have found him listed from 6-1 to 6-3, either way with Jennings covering Terry Glenn, Ross might see some time against walking media circus Terrell Owens. Young corners rarely play well, and not much can be expected from Ross, but TO is not a strong route runner and Ross's size might stymie Owens' ability to simply outmuscle opposing corners. If nothing else his height could at least screen Owens, contributing to him dropping the ball.