Posted: Wednesday November 21, 2012 7:36 PM

LB Weatherspoon returns to practice for Falcons

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon hopes to be cleared to play after practicing on Wednesday for the first time in three weeks.

Weatherspoon, Atlanta's top three-down linebacker, has been out with a sprained right ankle. His participation was limited, but coach Mike Smith indicated Weatherspoon should be able to fully participate on Thursday.

Receiver Julio Jones (right ankle) participated in the morning walkthrough, but didn't practice. Cornerback Asante Samuel (right shoulder) and defensive tackle Peria Jerry (thigh) also missed the afternoon session.

Running back Michael Turner (groin), defensive end John Abraham (back), defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (neck), kicker Matt Bryant (kick), cornerback Christopher Owens (thigh) and defensive tackle Vance Walker (ribs) were limited.

Quarterback Matt Ryan fully participated despite a left finger injury.

Atlanta (9-1) visits Tampa Bay (6-4) on Sunday.

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