For about a week, we have known that the leader of the Atlanta Falcons defense, Sean Weatherspoon, was on his way back to action, but on Tuesday evening, the Falcons provided clarity into the situation.
The Falcons have released LB Thomas Howard in order to bring Sean Weatherspoon back to the active roster.
— Atlanta_Falcons (@Atlanta_Falcons) November 12, 2013
Simply put, the team had to make a roster move in order to bring ‘Spoon back into the fold full-time, and Thomas Howard was the casualty. In 2 games since being signed as a mid-season injury replacement, the 30-year-old linebacker failed to register any defensive statistics, and frankly, the upside to the move was limited from the moment he set foot in Flowery Branch.
On the (much) more positive side, the Falcons will have Weatherspoon in the lineup on Sunday for the first time since week 2, when he suffered a severe foot injury. Last season, Weatherspoon notched 95 tackles and 3 sacks in 13 games, but more importantly, his athleticism and attitude are two things that this defense has been sorely lacking in recent weeks.
It remains to be seen just how healthy Weatherspoon is at this stage, but all signs point to him running out of the tunnel on Sunday against the Bucs.