Falcons coach Mike Smith announced Tuesday that the torn pectoral muscle Tatupu suffered last week will sideline him for the entirety of the 2012 season.
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"As you know, Lofa suffered a pectoral injury last week," Smith said, according to the Falcons' official website. "After further testing, it was determined that he would require a procedure to repair the injury and unfortunately he will miss the entire season."
It's a devastating setback for Tatupu, who was out of football last year after being released by the Seattle Seahawks. A three-time Pro Bowl pick, Tatupu's career has been sent off track by a series of injuries, including concussion issues.
Tatupu was expected to vie with Akeem Dent for the Falcons' middle linebacker spot, vacated when Curtis Lofton signed with the New Orleans Saints in March. The Falcons prepared for Tatupu's loss by signing Mike Peterson, a 14-year veteran who turned 36 last month. He started five games for Atlanta, which initially parted ways with the linebacker to get younger at the position.
So much for that.