Allen Kim

Sean Weatherspoon Out For Year With Ruptured Achilles

Jun 11, 2014 9:00 AM EST

The Atlanta Falcons will be missing a key part of their linebacking corps as LB Sean Weatherspoon will sit out the entire 2014 NFL season with a ruptured Achilles’ tendon. Weatherspoon suffered the injury while working with the training staff, and he had to be helped off the field by teammate Julio Jones.

“During Sean’s run today with our medical staff, he suffered an injury,” head coach Mike Smith said. “We sent Sean to the doctor for some additional testing and evaluation and unfortunately the results showed that he ruptured his Achilles tendon. 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.”

Weatherspoon wasn’t much of a factor last season, going down with a Lisfranc injury in Week 2 and being placed on the short-term injured reserve list until Week 11. He was then limited for the rest of the year, and a knee injury forced him to miss the last two games of the regular season.

Despite being a non-factor last year, the Falcons were abysmal on defense in 2013, and it’s hard to imagine them being much better in 2014 with the loss of Weatherspoon. They don’t have many viable options to replace Weatherspoon at weak-side linebacker, and it appears that they’ll have to lean on their offense to win them games.

Prince Shembo, who was drafted in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, may be forced into a big role right out of the gate. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport also reports that the Falcons are looking at Jonathan Vilma, although he won’t provide the Falcons much.