It has been an injury filled offseason for the NFL with star players like Seattle WR Percy Harvin and Ravens TE Dennis Pitta both out with hip injuries as well as the seven players who have already suffered torn ACLs.
The Atlanta Falcons were lucky to have avoided any serious injuries so far this offseason until Monday when linebacker Sean Weatherspoon suffered an open dislocated finger on his left hand. Head Coach Mike Smith stated that the team’s defensive signal-caller would be out indefinitely after successfully stitching up the wound in his left hand.
Weatherspoon knows injury quite well after spending the entire offseason recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. The Falcons have no depth at the weakside linebacker position causing much concern when Weatherspoon left the joint practice with the Cincinnati Bengals. Without the presence of Weatherspoon, the Falcons will be without their second-leading tackler and more importantly, without the standout leader of their defense.
Weatherspoon’s timetable for return is solely dependent upon the healing of the wound in his left hand. Luckily for the linebacker, there were no broken bones in his left hand meaning his return should be no more than a couple of weeks.
However, the Falcons will be without Weatherspoon on Thursday’s preseason game against the Bengals as well as standout WR Julio Jones. Jones has been suffering some hamstring tightness in training camp practices recently causing him to sit out of a few drills. Head Coach Mike Smith and the rest of the coaching staff made the executive decision to rest Jones for the preseason game solely as a “precautionary measure”.
The most serious injury for the Falcons occurred in training camp today when right tackle Mike Johnson was carted off the field with a serious left leg injury. The injury occurred on the first play of 9-on-7 drills and there has yet to be a diagnosis or a timetable for return released to the media.
Johnson was set for a breakout season at right tackle after the Falcons released last year’s starter Tyson Clabo in the offseason. However, after today’s injury the breakout season for Johnson is highly unlikely.
The Falcons face the Cincinnati Bengals this Thursday, August 8th at 8:00pm on ESPN for their first preseason game of the 2013 season. The Bengals were selected again to be the subject of the HBO series Hard Knocks, a reality series that tracks an NFL football team and shows what it really takes to make it in the league. Though the Hard Knocks crew is with the Bengals at the Falcons Training Camp, the Falcons have refused to wear microphones throughout the joint practices and the first preseason game.