Sean Weatherspoon will miss the entire 2014 season after rupturing his Achilles while working with trainers earlier today.
Sorry guys. Not a joke. Weatherspoon out for 2014. Story with Smitty quote here: http://t.co/NB28S6aDVY— Jay Adams (@FalconsJAdams) June 11, 2014
This is horrendous news for the Weatherspoon and the Falcons. 'Spoon was working his way back from a major 2013 injury to begin with, and rupturing his Achilles means his last year in Atlanta under his current contract is over before it began. For a talented player who has suffered multiple major injuries—'Spoon has played a full 16 game season just once since arriving in the NFL back in 2010—this is heartbreaking.
This also has a cascade effect on the rest of the linebacking corps, obviously. 'Spoon was a lock to start if he was healthy, but without him the Falcons will be leaning more heavily on their second year and rookie linebacker in his absence. Kroy Biermann and Jonathan Massaquoi will likely start outside, with Paul Worrilow, Prince Shembo and Akeem Dent competing for starting gigs on the inside. The Falcons also have Joplo Bartu, Marquis Spruill, Osi Umenyiora, Tyler Starr and Yawin Smallwood in the mix, so they're not short on options, even if many of those options are unproven.
My best guess today is that you'll see Biermann, Worrilow, Shembo and Mass in those roles, but it's going to take time to sort this out. The Falcons may have selected linebackers in this draft with the intention of looking to a future without Biermann and/or Spoon, but I'm sure they had no idea that future would come so soon. If the Falcons want to have a productive defense, they're going to need someone to step up and deliver in 'Spoon's place.
We'll have plenty of time to talk about whether 'Spoon returns to the Falcons in 2015 or not, but I'd rather keep this focused on 2014 for now.