FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who led the Falcons in tackles prior to getting injured, said that he would practice on Wednesday, the first time he has done so since injuring his ankle on Oct. 28 a good indication that Weatherspoon will play for the first time in four weeks on Sunday.
Falcons head coach Mike Smith said on Monday that he was optimistic about getting back some of the teams injured players for this weekends game at Tampa Bay. Smith did not name any players but Weatherspoon, who has missed the last three games, is the only starter among the group.
Before addressing the media in the teams open locker room session prior to practice, Weatherspoon pulled on a garish yellow Dickies coverall suit that he said tight end Tony Gonzalez had bought for him. Weatherspoon called it his coming back to work suit.
Im feeling pretty good, Weatherspoon said. Weatherspoon said he was not close to playing on Sunday against Arizona but said he feels a lot better this week.
Its tough, he said of missing the three games. We won two of those games. We can take that as a positive.
Weatherspoons spot in the starting lineup had been taken by veteran Mike Peterson, 36, and by first-year starter Akeem Dent in the nickel package. Modestly, Weatherspoon would only say the Falcons defense missed his energy while he was gone, but safety William Moore was more blunt.
Hes a big upgrade to the defense, hes a leader of the defense and its good to have him back, Moore said.