JASPER - by Steve W Stewart/KJAS and Rayburn Broadcasting Company
The Atlanta Falcons will have to deal with a devastating blow on defense going into the 2014 NFL season after Jasper's Sean Weatherspoon ruptured his Achilles tendon during training camp on Tuesday. The Falcons say their starting linebacker will be out for the entire season.
Meanwhile, his family has announced on Facebook that this year's "Camp Spoon", which is a yearly football camp put on by Weatherspoon, has been cancelled.
If there's any good news about the situation, it is the fact that the injury happened in June instead of later on during the actual season, meaning that Weatherspoon will have plenty of time to recover from the injury before the 2015 season.
Weatherspoon had been limited in organized team activities because he was still nursing a previous knee injury. However, he was running with the medical staff when the injury occurred.
Coach Mike Smith later said "Sean had been working extremely hard to get back on the field, but regrettably he will miss the entire 2014 season. He will have a procedure done in the near future and we expect him to make a full recovery."
Weatherspoon was on the short-term injured reserve list last season after suffering a foot injury in the second game of the year, and he didn't finish the season after the knee injury.
Weatherspoon led the Jasper Bulldogs to a 2004 Class 3-A State Championship appearance, in which the Dawgs barely lost a shootout to Gilmer at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches. Weatherspoon went on to play college football at the University of Missouri, and he was drafted in the first round by the Falcons.