The Atlanta Falcons have waived former Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Thomas Howard, the team announced on Tuesday. The move was to make room for Sean Weatherspoon, who is coming off the Injured Reserve list with a designation to return. Howard was active for two games with the Falcons after signing with them on Oct. 22.
Had this happened one week ago, there's a good change that the Bengals may have revisited a reunion.
Howard signed a two-year deal following the NFL lockout in 2011, and led the team with 120 tackles that year. On the Thursday prior to the second regular season game of the season in 2012, Howard suffered an ACL injury during practice and was placed on IR. Once his contract expired at the end of the season, Howard joined free agency but saw limited interested due to the extensive rehabilitation from such a serious injury -- the Dolphins were the only team with a confirmed visit.
Cincinnati invited Howard in Sept. after Emmanuel Lamur suffered a season-ending shoulder injury during the preseason finale.
Though unfortunate as it was, Howard's injury gave Vontaze Burfict the opportunity to become Cincinnati's best linebacker. In 16 games and 14 starts, Burfict set a franchise record for most starts (14) by a college free agent during his rookie season, leading the team with 174 tackles. Burfict is following that up with an even better season, on pace to post 212 tackles according to the team.
With Vincent Rey doing what he did against the Baltimore Ravens (as a middle linebacker admittedly), there might be a need.
Regardless, stay tuned.