After a disappointing 2013 season, the Atlanta Falcons are already off to a bad start, and the NFL season doesn't even begin for another two and a half months. The team announced today that Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon ruptured his Achilles tendon yesterday and will miss the entire 2014 season.
The former first-round pick out of Missouri reportedly suffered the injury while running. He was being supervised by the team's medical staff due to a foot injury that kept him off the field for half of last season. In fact, Weatherspoon has a history of injuries. His only healthy season came in 2011 when the linebacker had four sacks and 80 tackles.
Falcon's head coach Mike Smith released the following statement, "During Sean's run today with our medical staff, he suffered an injury. We sent Sean to the doctor for some additional testing and evaluation and unfortunately the results showed that he ruptured his Achilles tendon." Smith added, "Sean had been working extremely hard to get back on the field, but regrettably he will miss the entire 2014 season. He will have a procedure done in the near future and we expect him to make a full recovery.''
The Falcons may have immediate help coming from this year's rookie class. The team took four linebackers in the 2014 NFL draft. They drafted Prince Shembo in the fourth round out of Notre Dame, Marquis Spruill in the fifth round out of Syracuse, Yawin Smallwood in the seventh round out of Connecticut, and Tyler Starr also in the seventh round out of South Dakota.
The Falcons finished last season with an abysmal 4-13 record, despite going into last season as Super Bowl contenders. They reached the NFC Championship game in 2012, and were a mere ten yards shy of beating the San Francisco 49ers, which would have led the team to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1998.
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