FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons linebacker Weatherspoon, the team’s first-round pick in the 2010 draft (19th overall), was headed into a contract season before rupturing his Achilles tendon while running with the training staff on Tuesday.
Weatherspoon, 26, was coming off a tough campaign in 2013. The 6-foot, 1-inch and 241-pound linebacker, spent part of the season on injured reserve/designated to return with a foot injury before making it back, only to exit again with a knee injury.
After the surgery, Weatherspoon faces a long recovery period.
“For him to go back to being an inside linebacker, he’s going to be out closer to four or five months, but once he’s healed he has to rehab again,” said Dr. Phillip Kwong, a foot and ankle surgeon at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles.
The rehab from an Achilles tendon injury is arduous.
“He’s going to be very weak with his push-off,” Kwong said. “He’s not going to have the strength to have explosive movements pushing off. That’s mainly it. The weakness of the calf muscle doesn’t give you good control of your knee and your ankle. That’s going to limit his ability to push-off, run and change direction.”
It’s not believed to be a career-ending injury.
“It doesn’t have to be career-ending,” Kwong said. “If they can repair it properly and rehab him properly so that he has good movement on his ankle up-and-down and side-to-side, then if he (regains) good strength, he can come back.”
PHASE THREE OF OFFSEASON PROGRAM
–Today, June 11 – OTA No. 8.
–Thursday, June 12 – OTA No. 9.
–Friday, June 13 – OTA No. 10.
–Monday, June 16 – Physicals.
–Tuesday, June 17 — Day One: Mandatory minicamp (5 practices over three days)
–Wednesday, June 18 – Day Two: Mandatory minicamp.
–Thursday, June 19 – Day Three: Mandatory minicamp. (Offseason program ends for veterans).
TBA – Rookie Symposium
TBA – (Late July) – Report to Training camp.
DRAFT CLASS STORIES
THE ATLANTA FALCONS 2014 DRAFT CLASS