The achilles rupture for Sean Weatherspoon was a depressing piece of news, especially for a player that fans have come to love. He’s been a good starter this year and his presence on the field has certainly helped the young guys he’s surrounded by. With his season almost certainly over, many fans are wondering what the team will do to replace him? Here are some options.
If he’s healthy, Campbell steps back in
This is the obvious solution, but there’s one hang-up: we have no idea how healthy De’Vondre Campbell is. There are some indications that he’s getting closer, but the severity of his ankle injury is a bit of a mystery. If he’s not ready to go, the team will likely turn to the bench to fill the void until Campbell can get back on the field.
If Campbell isn’t healthy, turn to the bench
The Falcons have three potential linebackers to slide over to the WILL. Laroy Reynolds played decently while on the field, but is primarily a special teams guy. Phillip Wheeler has been in the SAM role lately, but has experience at all three linebacker positions. Wheeler seems like the likely choice, with O’Brien Schofield taking the SAM spot in Wheeler’s absence, but Wheeler leaves a lot to be desired in coverage.
One other name you could see in a hybrid type of role: Kemal Ishmael. He’s too small to be a three down backer, but he’s a reliable tackler and in nickel situations it may make sense to have him out there in instead of Wheeler.
Do we look for another vet?
There’s a good chance the Falcons will want to find another potential veteran to at least fill the roster spot that Weatherspoon will soon vacate. However, even if we do sign someone, they will likely be there as an insurance policy - not as a potential starter. As for names they might consider? I honestly have no idea, which could speak to the lack of options available on the market right now.
No matter what we do, losing a veteran like Sean Weatherspoon is going to hurt. Hopefully, Campbell can get back on the field and resume looking like the stud we hoped he would be.
What options would you consider for replacing Weatherspoon?