The Atlanta Falcons announced Tuesday that middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu will miss the entire 2012 season after injuring his pectoral muscle in the weight-room.
“As you know, Lofa suffered a pectoral injury last week,” head coach Mike Smith said. “After further testing, it was determined that he would require a procedure to repair the injury and unfortunately he will miss the entire season.”
Tatupu didn’t play in 2011 and considered retirement, but signed a contract with the Falcons to compete for the open middle linebacker job against second-year player Akeem Dent.
Tatupu missed the 2009 season due to injury after playing four seasons in Seattle where he averaged just under 108 tackle per season. He played in 2010 in Seattle and notched 88 stops.
Then Tatupu bickered with the Seahawks over his contract and sat out last year. The 2012 season was slated to be one of resurgence for the 29-year-old linebacker.
Dent will enter training camp as the favorite to win the job as Atlanta’s Mike linebacker. Atlanta signed Mike Peterson to add depth to the linebacker corps on Monday.
Tatupu’s injury was the second off-the-field injury an Atlanta Falcons linebacker has suffered since minicamp ended. Matt Hansen injured his knee while training in June. Hansen will miss four to six months.