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Steven Jackson out 2 to 4 weeks for Atlanta Falcons?

Another day, another big blow for the Atlanta Falcons on the injury front.

Steven Jackson never returned to Sunday's 31-24 victory over the St. Louis Rams after leaving with an injury. Falcons coach Mike Smith announced Tuesday his star running back will not play Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

A person informed of Jackson's injury told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport on Tuesday that Jackson might miss two to four weeks with a thigh injury. The 30-year-old officially is viewed as "week to week."

What's worse, the Falcons on Tuesday placed Sean Weatherspoon on injured reserve-designated to return after the linebacker suffered a foot sprain in Sunday's contest. This news comes one day after the team announced defensive end Kroy Biermann will miss the rest of the season with a torn Achilles tendon.

With Jackson out, Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling likely will split backfield duties. The two combined for just 36 rushing yards after Jackson departed, leaving the Falcons' backfield with its lowest output in a victory in franchise history.

With the ground attack struggling, the offense has been decidedly one-sided.

The Biermann and Weatherspoon losses are major blows to a defense that has failed to muster any semblance of pass rush over the first two games of the season.

Biermann was a moveable chess piece for coordinator Mike Nolan, lining up all along the defensive front seven -- and even at safety on occasion. Weatherspoon widely is viewed as the Falcons' most valuable defensive player, capable of rushing the passer and hanging with tight ends and running backs in coverage.

Weatherspoon is ineligible to return until Week 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In the meantime, undrafted rookie Joplo Bartu is the favorite to take over at linebacker, with fifth-round draft pick Malliciah Goodman picking up snaps at defensive end.

Smith has to hope that the 2-0 New Orleans Saints don't run away and hide while the Falcons bide their time awaiting the returns of Jackson and Weatherspoon.

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