The Atlanta Falcons have reported that veteran linebacker Lofa Tatupu has suffered a pectoral muscle injury and will provide details at a future time. He will be visiting Dr. James Andrews on Monday to gain more information about the injury.
The news first broke on the Atlanta Falcons official website. Their own Jay Adams has quoted Coach Smith about the injury:
“Lofa sustained a pectoral injury while working out recently,” Smith said. “At this point, we do not know the extent of the injury, but we expect to have more information early next week.”
The injury could be detrimental to Tatupu's season if he re-tore his pectoral. However, if it's just a strain, expect him to sit out just a few weeks and possibly even be put on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list.
Tatupu's injury gives second-year player Akeem Dent the inside track for the starting middle linebacker job in camp. Tatupu was out all of last season, partially due to multiple injuries to his knees, shoulder and concussions throughout his career that have left NFL teams questioning his abilities.
If Tatupu only suffered a very minor strain, he will come back in the middle of camp and compete with Dent for the starting middle linebacker job. Ideally, the Falcons would want Dent to win the job, as he is under contract for more years and is younger, at just 24.
Hopefully, Tatupu can return and bring what GM Thomas Dimitroff thought he was going to bring to the defense (h/t Atlanta Journal-Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter):
“We were very interested in having a guy who was going to add an element of grit, passion, fire and football knowledge that could be very beneficial to our defense,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said recently about the move to sign Tatupu. “It was like a total-package deal.”
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist and Trends and Traffic Writer for Bleacher Report. As a Featured Columnist, he covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek and also runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and the host of Kvetching Draftniks Radio.