Weatherspoon's recovery taking longer than expected

Posted Oct. 21, 2010 @ 9:55 p.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

The Falcons will not rush rookie OLB Sean Weatherspoon back from a knee injury, even though a source said they were ecstatic with his play early in the season. Weatherspoon, who has 29 tackles and a sack, missed Week Four with an ankle injury and he sat out Week Six with a knee injury. Head coach Mike Smith announced on Monday that he wouldn't play in Week Seven and, with a bye in Week Eight, Atlanta is hoping he can return in Week Nine against the Buccaneers.

"There's nothing that we can do except just rest him," Smith said. "... He has not responded as quickly as we thought, so we will rule him out for the game this week and hopefully get him back after the bye week."

With a decent backup in Stephen Nicholas filling the void, Atlanta doesn't want to take any chances with Weatherspoon, who was the 19th overall pick in this year's draft.