In some bad news on Monday morning, the Falcons will lose Sean Weatherspoon—standout linebacker who was on a career resurgence and locker-room leader—to an Achilles rupture as ESPN’s Vaughn McClure reported on twitter.
Weatherspoon was the primary backup to rookie De’Vondre Campbell at weak-side linebacker. His fiery play the first few weeks of the season while Campbell was out was very helpful. Spoon has been a huge fan favorite since being drafted by the team during the 2010 NFL draft.
It’s going to be tough heading into Denver on Sunday without the talented reserve linebacker, but Campbell could wind up being back for the game to re-take his starting spot. Another option the Falcons have could be to start strong-safety Kemal Ishmael as a weak-side linebacker for the week.
Also, Phillip Wheeler has experience in the role and could wind up starting at weak-side linebacker for the week while O’Brien Schofield—who was recently re-signed—takes over duties in the base defense at strong-side linebacker. The Falcons can get through the injury to Weatherspoon much better now in 2016 than they did in 2014, when the defense got shredded after they lost him in preseason to an Achilles rupture then.
Sure, his leadership will be missed. But the Falcons could always have him on the sideline to help out there. Atlanta has an easy way to get around Weatherspoon’s injury on the field since he wasn’t the starter. But losing him will always hurt due to his leadership abilities.