FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Outside linebacker O’Brien Schofield believes one week of practice will have him ready to play in the Falcons’ game at New Orleans on Monday night.
Schofield, who started 10 games with Atlanta in 2015, re-signed with the Falcons on Thursday to address a sudden depth problem at linebacker.
Schofield, a fourth-round pick by Arizona in 2010, played for the Cardinals and Seattle for five seasons before signing with Atlanta last year. He had 28 tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble last season.
Atlanta inside linebacker Paul Worrilow had groin surgery on Thursday and will be out indefinitely. Also, rookie outside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell’s status for Monday night’s game at New Orleans is uncertain. Campbell, who opened the season as a starter at outside linebacker, missed last week’s win at Oakland with an ankle injury and did not practice on Thursday.
Coach Dan Quinn said no timetable has been set for Worrilow’s return. Philip Wheeler was moved from outside linebacker to play behind starting inside linebacker Deion Jones. Quinn said Worrilow’s injury and Wheeler’s move created the need to sign Schofield.
“We needed to have some more depth on the outside and that’s where Schofield has great history being a part of the defense before,” Quinn said.
Schofield, 29, said his offseason workout schedule left him in good shape to make a quick return to action.
“I think I did a great job training this offseason,” Schofield said. “I don’t think anybody has worked as hard as I did. It’s just going to be getting back into football shape, hitting and running to the ball. I’m a veteran. I’ve done this for a while so I don’t think it’s going to be that hard.”
Schofield signed a one-year deal. The details of the contract were not immediately available. He also had interest from other teams, including the Patriots and Jets.
“I was waiting for the right opportunity as far as the money and the situation,” he said. “At the end of the day, I took the situation over the money. I still had other offers where I would be getting paid more than I am now, but I looked at this opportunity to come into a system I’m comfortable with and a coach I’m very comfortable with and I just came here to take advantage of that.”
Quinn said he will make a decision on Schofield’s status later in the week. He said Schofield has to quickly adjust to tweaks in the scheme made this year.
“He’s a real bright guy and will pick it up quick,” Quinn said. “We’re going to see how it goes and then we’ll make a determination for him at the end of the week to see where his conditioning is in football as well.”
The Falcons also waived running back Terron Ward. Ward had 29 carries for 95 yards and one touchdown in 2015 and did not have a carry in the team’s first two games.
The move leaves Atlanta with only two running backs, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, plus fullback Patrick DiMarco. The Falcons may sign another running back after this week.
NOTES: WR Julio Jones (thigh) also was held out Thursday. Quinn said Jones is “making good progress” and hopes he will be ready for Monday night’s game. … Rookie SS Keanu Neal (knee) had limited participation after missing the first two games. Neal, the first-round pick, was the starter before his injury.