Sean Weatherspoon has torn his Achilles tendon and is unlikely to return in the 2016 season, head coach Dan Quinn confirmed Monday afternoon.
Weatherspoon has been an instrumental part of Atlanta's defense since his return, both on and off the field. Prior to suffering the injury in Sunday's game, Weatherspoon was playing some of the best football of his career. The linebacker has been a sound tackler for the Falcons – his 27 tackles rank third on the team.
The Falcons have greatly benefited from Weatherspoon's production on the field, but his presence in the locker room and his role as a leader is perhaps even more valuable.
"It's the energy, the toughness, and we call it the juice, that's what he brings to the team," Quinn said of Weatherspoon.
This marks the second time Weatherspoon has experienced an Achilles injury, he missed the entire 2014 season with a torn left Achilles.
"That's tough news for us and for him," Quinn said. "He's a guy we have a lot of respect for and he's done a really good job through the first part of the season. The injury looks serious; it doesn't look good for a return at this point."