Jeff Schultz of the AJC reports that linebacker Lofa Tatupu has suffered a pectoral injury while lifting weights on Thursday. The extent of the injury is not known, but it is expected that he’ll at least miss the opening of training camp next week per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC. Ledbetter terms the injury “serious.” Per Ledbetter, a grade one strain requires a few days of recovery. A grade two strain could put a player out for up to six weeks. And a fully torn pectoral muscle requires surgery and presumably would cost Tatupu the entire 2012 season. The severity of the injury will not be known until next week. In the mean time, Tatupu is expected to see noted orthopedic surgeon James Andrews.
Tatupu tore his pectoral in 2009 while with the Seahawks and missed all but five games that season. The Falcons report to camp this upcoming Wednesday and practices begin on Thursday. Tatupu was expected to compete with Akeem Dent for the starting middle linebacker position, as a replacement for Curtis Lofton. With the move to sideline Matt Hansen, the Falcons have an available roster spot for a veteran linebacker if need be.