Linebacker undergoes season-ending surgery

Updated: October 2, 2003, 9:07 PM ET

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Will Overstreet had season-ending surgery Thursday to repair a torn ligament in his left shoulder.

Overstreet played in parts of only two games last year before tearing his labrum and having surgery on the same shoulder. A third-round draft pick from Tennessee in 2002, Overstreet took over as a starter on the weak side when Sam Rogers tore cartilage in his left knee before the Falcons' season-opening win at Dallas.

Cory Hall, Atlanta's starting strong safety, underwent an arthroscopic procedure Thursday on his left knee and will miss at least two more weeks.

The Falcons (1-3) have not placed Overstreet on the injured reserve list yet, but they must make a roster move by 4 p.m. Saturday, the deadline for outside linebacker Keith Newman to return to the 53-man roster.

Newman, who plays behind Matt Stewart on the strong side, practiced with the team Wednesday for the first time since Aug. 30, when the NFL suspended him four games after he violated its policy on anabolic steroids and related substances.

Newman might take some snaps on the weak side behind Karon Riley, who became a starter following injuries to Rogers and Overstreet. Rogers hasn't practiced since playing in a 31-10 loss to Tampa Bay in Week 3.

Atlanta has major concerns in the secondary following coach Dan Reeves' decision Wednesday to suspend Tyrone Williams. The starting cornerback will miss the game Sunday against Minnesota (4-0) after complaining loudly about the defensive schemes.

With Hall out, the Falcons likely will start Travaris Robinson, who signed in April as an undrafted rookie free agent from Auburn, at strong safety. Hall's two backups, Gerald McBurrows (neck) and Kevin McCadam (hamstring), are listed as doubtful on the injury report.

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index