FLOWERY BRANCH –Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is out for Sunday’s Saints game, head coach Mike Smith announced after practice Thursday.
“We felt like Sean would be a real, real stretch these first two weeks,” Smith said. “We feel like he’s making progress, but he won’t play in the ball game this week.”
Weatherspoon, wide receiver Kevin Cone (groin) and safety Charles Mitchell (calf) did not practice on Thursday.
“He’ll be looking to get back out there the first part of next week,” Smith said. “We’ll keep him in the training room the rest of this week.”
Smith also declared Cone out for the game.
Running back Jason Snelling (illness), cornerback Asante Samuel (hip) and tackle Sam Baker (ankle) fully participated in practice. Snelling didn’t practice on Wednesday and Samuel and Baker were limited.
Defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (hamstring), wide receiver Harry Douglas (ankle) and defensive tackle Peria Jerry (knee) were limited. Defensive end John Abraham (elbow) fully participated in practice.
Weatherspoon was hurt on a tackle attempt against Eagles running back LeSean McCoy with 9:03 left in the fourth quarter of Atlanta’s 30-17 victory over Philadelphia. He didn’t play last week against Dallas.
Akeem Dent continued to work with the starters in place of Weatherspoon in the nickel defense. Veteran Mike Peterson took over Weatherspoon’s weakside linebacker spot in the base defense.
Against Dallas, Dent was tied for the team lead with seven tackles. He played all 57 defensive snaps. Peterson played 16 of 57 (28 percent) snaps against the Cowboys.
Saints players who sat out practice were defensive end Junior Galette (ankle), wide receiver Courtney Roby (shoulder), running back Darren Sproles (hand) and tackle Zach Strief (groin).
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