The Atlanta Falcons announced Tuesday that linebacker and defensive leader Sean Weatherspoon has been placed on injured reserve with the designation to return after spraining his foot. In hopes of finding an adequate stop-gap player to fill-in for him in the meantime, they worked out former Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders starting weaskide linebacker Thomas Howard today.
They also signed veteran free-agent linebackers Jamar Chaney and Omar Gaither, who were initially drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. Chaney played in 44 games with 23 starts in three seasons with Philadelphia. Gaither totaled 321 tackles, six sacks and two interceptions in seven seasons with the Eagles, Carolina Panthers and Oakland Raiders.
With Weatherspoon now sidelined for at least eight weeks, the Falcons will also look for contributions from a pair of undrafted rookies who impressed during the preseason in Delaware’s Paul Worrilow and Texas State’s Joplo Bartu.
Regardless of who they go with at LB, in a division with Cam Newton, Doug Martin, Darren Sproles, and Jimmy Graham, the play of their LBs will be key in the Falcons reclaiming the AFC South division title.