Nicholas, Weatherspoon out for start of OTAs

The Falcons’ top two tacklers last season, linebackers Stephen Nicholas and Sean Weatherspoon, have undergone offseason surgeries and will not be available when the team starts organized team activities on Tuesday.

Nicholas, who led the team with 116 tackles last season, had sports hernia surgery. Weatherspoon, who had 114 tackles, had arthroscopic knee surgery.

Both surgeries are considered minor by the team and Nicholas and Weatherspoon are expected back by the end of OTA practices in June and definitely by the team’s mandatory minicamp that’s set for June 18 through 20.

In addition to Nicholas and Weatherspoon, fifth-round pick Stansly Maponga, who had surgery in March to repair the metatarsal bone in his left foot, and seventh-round pick Sean Renferee (shoulder) will be limited for OTAs.

Maponga, a defensive end, is expected back by training camp, while there is no set timetable for Renfree’s return. He’s a quarterback from Duke.

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