Falcons LB Paul Worrilow to have groin-related surgery, miss at least a month

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Paul Worrilow is scheduled to undergo surgery Thursday to fix a lingering groin-related issue and is expected to be sidelined at least four weeks.

Worrilow’s agent, Jim Ulrich, confirmed the timetable, with a three-week recovery period hopeful but highly unlikely. The surgery will be performed in Philadelphia by noted sports hernia specialist Dr. William Meyers, who also performed surgery on Falcons defensive end Brooks Reed last year.

Worrilow’s injury is related to tearing in his adductor muscle group. He had been playing with lower abdomen pain for a while, and the pain eventually led to straining of the adductor muscle group.

Based on the recovery time following surgery, Worrilow could be placed on injured reserve and activated later in the season, if the Falcons elect to go that route. New NFL rules allow the Falcons to make such a move without immediately designating Worrilow for a return.

Placing Worrilow on IR would open up a roster spot for outside linebacker O'Brien Schofield, who agreed to terms on a one-year contract Wednesday.

Worrilow, formerly the starting middle linebacker, was the team’s leading tackler the previous three seasons. He was replaced in the starting lineup by rookie Deion Jones, a second-round pick from LSU.

Worrilow played a team-high 25 special teams snaps in last Sunday’s 35-28 win over the Oakland Raiders. He also played one snap on defense.

The Falcons are likely to move Philip Wheeler from outside linebacker back to inside linebacker for depth. Rookie De'Vondre Campbell is nursing an ankle injury and missed last week’s game, leaving Sean Weatherspoon to start at weak-side linebacker. Weatherspoon played primarily middle linebacker during the preseason when the defense was vanilla. And LaRoy Reynolds is the other player listed on the depth chart at inside linebacker.