Weiner out for season after second knee surgery
ATLANTA -- Todd Weiner, a 10-year veteran offensive right tackle, underwent a second knee surgery in six weeks on Thursday, and the Atlanta Falcons ended his 2007 season by placing him on injured reserve.
Weiner, 32, is the third starting offensive tackle to go on the Falcons' injured reserve list, the fourth on the offensive line, and the 12th player overall.
Wayne Gandy, who opened the season as the starting left tackle, and rookie Renardo Foster, who replaced him at the position, both underwent earlier season-ending knee surgeries to address torn anterior cruciate ligaments. Weiner had earlier arthroscopic surgery on Oct. 11 to address cartilage erosion, but re-injured his right knee in a Nov. 18 game.
A former Kansas State star, Weiner is expected to be fully recovered well in advance of the start to the team's offseason conditioning program next spring.
The depletion of the tackle position clearly has contributed to the Falcons' lack of offensive production in 2007. The team is left with Quinn Ojinnaka at left tackle and Tyson Clabo at right tackle. Ojinnaka had never started a game until this season and Clabo has never played the tackle position before.
The other offensive lineman on injured reserve is rookie center Doug Datish, a sixth-round draft choice who was impressive in training camp and had been expected to contribute as a backup this season.
In his previous five seasons with the Falcons, Weiner, who was signed as an unrestricted free agent in 2002, had missed only one game and two starts.
Weiner, who spent the first four seasons of his career with the Seattle Seahawks, has played in 136 games in his career, including 105 starts. He played in seven games this season, all of them as the starting right tackle.
Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com