ATLANTA (AP) Atlanta Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon suffered a ruptured right Achilles tendon in Sunday's win over Carolina, likely ending his season.
It is the second serious Achilles injury of Weatherspoon's career.
''That's tough news for him and for us,'' coach Dan Quinn said Monday. ''... It doesn't look good for returning at this point.''
Weatherspoon, Atlanta's first-round draft pick in 2010, missed the 2014 season with a torn left Achilles tendon.
Weatherspoon played with Arizona in 2015 before returning to the Falcons. Weatherspoon had been a backup, but started against Carolina with rookie De'Vondre Campbell held out with an ankle injury. Weatherspoon had four tackles, including one for a loss, against the Panthers.
Weatherspoon's injury helps to create a possible shortage of linebackers for this week's game at Denver.
Starting linebacker Deion Jones left the 48-33 win over Carolina with a calf injury. Quinn said Jones was ''certainly better'' on Monday.
Former starter Paul Worrilow also was held out against Carolina with a groin injury.
Quinn said it was too early to know if Campbell or Worrilow can return this week. He said the team could look at acquiring help at linebacker and also could consider moves within the linebacker group.
The defense will be boosted by the return of cornerback Jalen Collins, who completed his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Collins started two games in 2015.
''It was difficult for him to be away from his guys who were battling for it,'' Quinn said.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL