NFL: Seasn Weatherspoon on IR for Atlanta Falcons Steven Jackson out injured
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 18/09/13 10:20am
Steven Jackson: Injured for Atlanta against St Louis
Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith says he has hardly known an injury crisis like it after placing linebacker Sean Weatherspoon on injured reserve and losing running back Steven Jackson for around three weeks.
The Falcons beat the St Louis Rams 31-24 on Sunday but lost five of their starters to injuries, including Weatherspoon who was their second-best tackler last year and had 10 so far in two games.
The 25-year-old has been placed on IR with a foot injury, but he has been designated to return although it will not be until week 11 at the earliest.
Running back Jackson picked up a thigh injury playing against his former Rams team-mates, and although his return has not been designated it is thought to be around three weeks.
Smith said that Jackson would definitely be missing from Sunday's game against the unbeaten Miami Dolphins but could not be firm on his return.
"He will not play this week. I know that," said Smith. "It is short term. When I say short term, I don't know if it's two weeks or three weeks, but Steven is ruled out for the game this week and will not play."
Jackson was brought in as the missing piece of the Falcons offence, but now Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers will have to pick up the slack in the ground game for a few weeks.
The Falcons also lost Kroy Biermann for the season leaving them thin on the ground at linebacker, while cornerback Asante Samuel's status is unclear after he picked up a thigh injury.
Full-back Bradie Ewing has also been placed on IR so the Falcons have been forced to bring in some new faces, adding Patrick DiMarco to the active roster and signing linebacker Omar Gaither and Jamar Chaney.
"We've not had anything close to this," Smith added. "There have been games where we've had guys who have not been able to play and it's been the next-man-up mentality, and I think that's really what our guys understand.
"I tell them all the time we have very defined roles on our team and in our organization, but I tell them on our team those roles can change just like that and you've got to be prepared."