Jan 20, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (56) reacts during the second quarter of the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Falcons LB Sean Weatherspoon suffers Achilles injury, out for 2014 NFL season

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Sean Weatherspoon is likely headed back to the IR. After a long stint on injured reserve for the 2013 season with a sprained foot, Weatherspoon suffered an injury, rupturing his achilles and will be out for the 2014 season.

Jay Adams tweeted on Tuesday evening:

At 26, Weatherspoon should be able to make a full recovery from the injury. While every body is different, consider that 32-year-old Vince Wilfork is expected to make a full recovery from his ruptured achilles and he weighs about 100 pounds more than Weatherspoon.

However, it is hard to know the severity of Weatherspoon’s rupture at this time and therefore difficult to lay out a timetable for his return.

Weatherspoon is one of the Falcons’ key leaders and was a necessary ingredient to an ailing Falcons defense last season. In his seven games in 2013, he showed versatility, playing middle and outside linebacker. He accounted for 26 tackles and a 71-yard interception return for a touchdown. Spoon took Matt Flynn to the house.

The Falcons’ depth chart at linebacker is currently comprised of seven rookies, including draft selection Tyler Starr. Veterans Akeem Dent, Paul Worrilow, Josh Harris and Joplo Bartu will need to step up significantly from their performances last season, particularly Dent, who is the most likely candidate to start in Weatherspoon’s absence. Osi Umenyiora will likely also help at linebacker, especially considering how thin the Falcons are.

 

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