Tatupu injury Dents IDP value
Posted Jul. 22 at 04:00 AM
Middle linebackers and pass rushers; those are the key players in IDP leagues. One of the key middle linebacker battles of the preseason is in Atlanta, where Curtis Lofton is gone to replace suspended Jonathan Vilma in New Orleans, and Lofa Tatupu and Akeem Dent will compete for the spot.
That's the hope, anyway, but Tatupu -- a Pro Bowler in Seattle who sat out all of last season -- is something of a question mark. Concussions and a pectoral injury contributed to the end of his tenure with the Seahawks, and now he's suffered another pectoral injury and isn't expected to be ready for the start of training camp.
If the injury is just a strain, Tatup could return in time to take the job. If it's a tear, it would require surgery, and you could pretty much scratch him off the list of starting middle linebackers this season. Tatupu will meet with Dr. James Andrews this week.
The history, at least, suggests you can move Tatupu well down the rankings, and that's what our update this week will reflect. Dent, a second-year linebacker who appeared in all 16 games last year as a reserve, holds some sleeper appeal if Tatupu needs surgery, although the Falcons could sing someone else (former Viking E.J. Henderson is still out there).
The safest Falcons linebacker is Sean Weatherspoon, who will start on the weak side. He had 115 total tackles last year and could also be considered a candidate to start in the middle if neither Tatupu nor Dent pan out.
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