The Atlanta Falcons tried improving their linebackers with free agent Justin Durant and Brooks Reed. The more expensive of the two, who has recently been struggling with injury, has now undergone surgery prior to week one.
The NFL's Ian Rapoport was the first with the disappointing news.
The #Falcons announced LB Brooks Reed had groin surgery. I’m told he’s out 6 weeks. Tough blow to start the season.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 4, 2015
The "tough blow" is absolutely an understatement. The Falcons have been soft in the middle of their defense for years, and losing Reed will not help. I would expect Kroy Biermann to become the new SAM linebacker until Reed is ready to play, likely until after Reed comes off of the short-term PUP list.
Whatever your opinion on the two players, that is a downgrade in athleticism.
If you think you will miss Brooks Reed's long hair through the first six weeks of the season, Tyler Starr has looked like he has taken a sizable step forward, and should provide quality depth early through the season.