New Falcons LB Lofa Tatupu out for season with torn pectoral muscle

Tatupu won't suit up for Atlanta in 2011 after an injury ended his season before it began. (US Presswire)

When the Falcons decided to sign linebacker Lofa Tatupu, there were concerns about how well he'd hold up after a year away from football. Those concerns are already justified, as Mike Smith announced on Tuesday that Tatupu will miss the entire season with a torn pectoral muscle he suffered during a recent workout.

Tatupu was signed by the Falcons in the hopes he could replace Curtis Lofton, who signed with the Saints during the offseason.

“As you know, Lofa suffered a pectoral injury last week,” 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.”

Following the injury to Tatupu, Atlanta signed Mike Peterson -- he and Akeem Dent will compete for the starting middle linebacker position for the Falcons.

Tatupu was once an All-Pro linebacker who appeared to be one of the emerging defensive stars in the NFL. He was a Pro Bowler in 2005, 2006 and 2007, but fell off a cliff pretty quickly. He missed the entire 2009 season with a torn pectoral muscle and struggled in 2010.

Then Tatupu underwent surgery on both his knees in January 2011 and missed the entire 2011 season, when no team was interested in signing him. Now he'll be out of football for the second-straight year.

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CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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