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D. Orlando LedbetterD. Orlando Ledbetter

What’s next for Falcons LB Sean Weatherspoon?

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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

Jake Matthews brings strength of family to the Falcons

Ra’Shede Hageman could turn into defensive force for Falcons

Dezmen Southward ready to compete for playing time

Warrick Dunn likes the pick of FSU’s Devonta Freeman

Falcons signed 20 undrafted rookie free agents, 5 from SEC 

Falcons invite 24 players in for tryouts

NFL Draft 2014: ESPN’s Todd McShay on the Falcons’ draft class

VIDEO: Reaction to the Atlanta Falcons’ 2014 draft class

THE ATLANTA FALCONS 2014 DRAFT CLASS

Round 1 / 6 — Jake Matthews, RT, 6-5, 308, Texas A&M

Round 2/37 – Ra’Shede Hageman, DE, 6-6, Minnesota

Round 3/68 – Dezmen Southward, FS, 6-0, 211, Wisconsin

Round 4/103 – Devonta Freeman, RB, 5-8, 206, Florida State

Round 4/139 – Prince Shembo, LB, 6-1, 253 Notre Dame

Round 5/147 – Ricardo Allen, CB, 5-9, 187, Purdue

Round 5/168 – Marquis Spruill, LB, 6-1, 231, Syracuse

Round 7/253 – Yawin Smallwood, LB, 6-2, 246, Connecticut

Round 7/255 – Tyler Starr, LB, 6-4, 250, South Dakota

 

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