As training camp sits right around the corner, there has been a little bit of a shake-up at linebacker in Flowery Branch.
In the wake of a pectoral injury suffered by new middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu over the weekend, the Falcons have brought back veteran linebacker and special teams stalwart Mike Peterson.
The move comes with little surprise. With Tatupu now visiting famous specialist James Andrews to determine the extent of the injury, his status for training camp becomes more than a little doubtful.
Naturally, this became a cause of concern for the Falcons. Tatupu wouldn't be visiting Andrews unless the injury was serious, and he's dealt with his share of bumps and bruises throughout his NFL career. For now, the Falcons can only hope it is nothing season-threatening.
As for Peterson, his experience playing under Mike Smith combined with the leadership he provides makes this signing a prudent one. The Falcons need depth at the position as well as someone who can contribute on special teams, and that is exactly what Peterson provides.
But barring another injury, he will not be a starter. With Tatupu out of the picture at least for the time being, the focus now shifts to Stephen Nicholas and second-year linebacker Akeem Dent. Both should see their fair share of snaps and opportunities this season.