With Colin Kaepernick taking part in a private workout for NFL teams on Saturday, there are other players asking why they haven't received a similar opportunity. One example of this is former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. The first-round pick from 2010 took to Twitter on Tuesday night to express his desire to return to the league.
"Colin Kaepernick isn’t the only player that deserves a workout," Weatherspoon tweeted. "I publicly supported him and what he kneeled for! I still stand on my word! I’ve never even been cut from a team! I’ve definitely been excluded going on damn near 3 years. I’m in Atlanta too [NFL]."
Weatherspoon has not been in the league since 2017. During this season he appeared in two games and tallied one tackle. The 31-year-old veteran out of Missouri is healthy and wants to play but hasn't received an opportunity to rejoin the NFL in recent seasons.
"Bro you got hurt like every year!!! But....that would be cool if you came back to ATL for one year," one user on Twitter wrote as an explanation for why Weatherspoon hasn't played in recent seasons. The former Falcons LB responded, clarifying that he only had two season-ending injuries during his eight-year career.
Weatherspoon appeared in 47 games to start his career, starting 41. He was active for all 16 games in one season (2011) while missing time in 2010 (five games), 2012 (three games), and 2013 (nine games). Despite these absences, he still tallied eight sacks, two interceptions, and one forced fumble. He also reached 115 combined tackles in 2011.
In 2014, however, Weatherspoon suffered a ruptured Achilles, which sidelined him for the entire season. He returned in time for 2015 and appeared in 14 games for the Arizona Cardinals. Although this was short-lived. Weatherspoon suffered a second ruptured Achilles in 2016 following his return to the Falcons.
When he entered the league, Weatherspoon was described as a rare combination of size and athleticism and was lauded for his ability to play through injuries. He quickly became a fan-favorite in Atlanta early in his career, and there are many fans that would like to see him make a return to the field.
There are some players in recent seasons, including cornerback Antonio Cromartie, that feel they were also excluded by NFL teams due to their protests during the National Anthem and would prefer to land a private workout of their own. Weatherspoon is on this list and even resides in Atlanta. Will he be given a new opportunity to restart his dormant NFL career, or will he simply be another figure wondering why Kaepernick is getting "special" treatment?
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