Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  By JOHN MANASSO  |  Last updated 9/17/13
One day after the Falcons lost a starting linebacker for the season, they lost arguably their best at the position for the next eight weeks, placing Sean Weatherspoon on the injured reservedesignated to return list Tuesday. Under the rule, Weatherspoon, a first-round pick in 2010 who totaled three sacks and 114 tackles last season, must sit out the next eight weeks before he can return. FOXSports.com's Mike Garafolo reported that Weatherspoons injury is a "Lisfranc issue." Falcons put LB Sean Weatherspoon on IR with a designation to return because that foot sprain proved to be a Lisfranc issue. Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 17, 2013 Also, the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that running back Steven Jackson will miss 2-4 weeks with a thigh injury. Head coach Mike Smith has not updated Jackson's condition since Jackson got injured scoring a touchdown on the first series of Sunday's win over St. Louis. To compensate for the injuries, the Falcons could go into this week's game against the 2-0 Dolphins, down at least four starters. On Monday, the Falcons announced that linebackerdefensive Kroy Biermann (torn Achilles) was done for the season. Without Biermann, when the Falcons implement a 3-4 defensive front, they'll be without two of their top four linebackers for at least eight weeks. Seven-year veteran Stephen Nicholas, who had lost his job as a starter, a role he had held since 2009, will be pressed into action, along with undrafted rookie Joplo Bartu. They will join middle linebacker Akeem Dent, a second-year starter. The depth chart is getting eerily thin for the Falcons at that spot, with another undrafted rookie, Paul Worrilow, next on the depth chart. With three roster spots open the Falcons also put fullback Bradie Ewing on season-ending IR Monday the Falcons will likely look outside the organization for depth. Robert James, a 2008 draft pick whom the team cut in August and was signed by the Ravens, would not seem to be an option, as Baltimore reached an injury settlement with him on Sept. 11. In Weatherspoon's case, a Lisfranc injury involves either placing the foot in a cast for six weeks or surgery, according to an article on WebMD.com (written by a medical doctor, Michael Smith). The piece, which describes possible treatments for Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in 2011, said the injury is "typically a season-ender." "It's a fracture of the bones in the middle of your foot the bones that form the arch on the top of your foot, Smith writes. "Specifically, a Lisfranc fracture affects the bones that extend toward your big toe and your second toe. An injury, usually a twisting fall, can cause these two bones to break or shift out of place."
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