The Atlanta Falcons are in a bit of a tight spot at linebacker at the moment, with Duke Riley shelved due to surgery, LaRoy Reynolds not quite ready to return, and only Kemal Ishmael and Jermaine Grace available to take snaps alongside Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell. That’s not an ideal situation, but it is a survivable one.
The Falcons apparently feel differently, however. They’ve given no indication that they’re ready to give Grace any snaps on defense, and while Ishmael is a steady veteran I like quite a bit, the Falcons at least need more depth behind him in the short-term, if not someone who can share snaps. Enter, of all people, Sean Weatherspoon, who the team reportedly will re-sign.
Falcons are signing back their former LB Sean Weatherspoon, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 24, 2017
Weatherspoon was once a hyper-athletic first round pick for these Falcons all the way back in 2010, and was a very good linebacker for a handful of years before injury slowly robbed him of that athleticism and repeatedly put him on the shelf. He’s a great team leader, solid enough tackler, and shows flashes of being able to do work in coverage like he once did, but honestly he’s likely being added as depth and that’s the appropriate thing for him at this stage of his career. He’ll likely only see the field for more than a handful of snaps per game if Ishmael is either hurt or wholly ineffective, and we’ll see if he hangs out on the roster once Reynolds is ready to return.
For all that, I of course love to see ‘Spoon where he belongs again, and hopefully he’ll surprise. We don’t have word on a corresponding move just yet, but stay tuned.